Thursday, July 23, 2015

House of Representatives Passes Bill H.R. 1599 That Could Block States 'Permanently' From Labeling GMO Food

""This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of a controversial bill that seeks to set a unified standard for the labeling of foods containing biotech ingredients. The bill (H.R. 1599) overturns state-level laws that require foods containing genetically modified organisms or GMOs.
The bill passed in a 275 to 150 vote.
One procedural amendment from Colorado representative Jared Polis proposed changing the title of the bill from the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 to the Deny Americans the Right to Know act. The “DARK act” is the rallying cry for opponents of the bill, who say the bill makes it more difficult for Americans to decide for themselves whether or not to eat GMOs. The proposed name change was not adopted, and an amendment to prohibit the use of the term “natural” on foods containing GMOs also failed.
The bill establishes a new USDA voluntary program for GMO-free labeling, similar to the existing organic program. It also prevents state from requiring food manufacturers to state whether or not their products contain GMOs. So far only Vermont has such a law, although labeling is being debated in many other states.
Some supporters of the bill say that those who want to avoid food containing GMOs may do so already by eating certified organic food. “This bill doesn’t deny any consumer the right to know,” Mike Pompeo, the bill’s sponsor, said during the debate.""

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