GMO labeling bill moves forward in the Senate.

  • As previously covered on this blog, on June 23, the Senate Agriculture Committee announced a bipartisan deal that would create a national labeling standard for genetically modified (GM) foods while pre-empting conflicting state laws, such as Vermont’s requirements (which took effect on July 1).  Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) responded by placing a “hold” on the legislation by initiating a procedural maneuver that requires at least 60 votes for the bill even to be considered by the Senate
  • On July 6, the bill moved forward in a 65-32 vote and is now expected to gain final approval in the Senate as early as this week.  If enacted, the bill would require labeling of foods that “contain genetic material that has been modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques” and has been modified in a way that could not be replicated through conventional breeding.
  • Now that Senate approval seems both likely and imminent, stakeholders are turning their eyes to the House, which voted in favor of voluntary labeling last year.  Companion legislation must be introduced in the House, receive a favorable vote, and be signed by President Obama before the long-awaited deal would become federal law.  It remains to be seen whether – and if so, when – these steps will take place.