Sen. Roberts expresses confidence that Congress will pass GM labeling bill in June.

  • As previously covered on this blog, Congress has repeatedly failed to agree on legislation to establish a federal standard for the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods.  In March, many thought a “hybrid” bill modeled on Senator Roberts’ (R-Kansas) voluntary GM labeling bill represented the best chance of federal action in time to preempt the upcoming Vermont GM labeling requirements, which take effect on July 1.  To the disappointment of many food industry stakeholders, that measure was defeated.
  • On May 24, Sen. Roberts told reporters that he and Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) were actively working on a deal to move federal GM legislation forward.  He reportedly stated that he still expects Congress to pass a national labeling standard before Vermont’s requirements take effect.
  • Once Congress returns from recess on June 6, they will have only 19 working days to resolve the issue before July 1.  Particularly as many food companies have moved ahead with developing compliance strategies in anticipation of Vermont’s deadline, Congressional action may be too late to provide immediate relief.  Nevertheless, a standardized nationwide approach to GM labeling would be welcomed by many.