From: Tech Times
For years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been telling the public that eating food that contain GMOs is safe, but it hasn’t stop many people to be wary of its potential risks to human health.
Scientists are worried that the herbicide used to spray on GMO crops could produce unwanted effects on people that will eat them. This led consumer groups to call on the government to place GMO labels on products made using the bio-engineered ingredient.
In 2014, legislators in Vermont adopted a law that makes it mandatory for food products with genetically engineered organisms to be labeled before they can be sold in the state. The legislation is set to take effect this year on July 1.
Food companies are scrambling to figure out how to place GMO labels on their products that are set to be sold to a state that has a fewer number of people than Brooklyn, or if they should just tell consumers in the country which of their products have GMO ingredients.
Various trade associations, such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Snack and Food Association (SFA), have sued the state of Vermont in federal court in order to block the new legislation.
The groups claim that the law forces them to take on “new speech requirements” as well as violates the U.S. Constitution by “regulating nationwide distribution and labeling practices that facilitate interstate commerce.”
The court, however, dismissed an injunction that would have prevented the GMO labeling law from being implemented in 2015. The Grocery Manufacturers Association immediately filed an appeal that is currently pending.
114th Congress (2015-2016)
Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015
TITLE I–FOOD SAFETY AFFIRMATION FOR CERTAIN PLANT PRODUCTS
Subtitle A–Food and Drug Administration
(Sec. 101) This bill amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to continue the voluntary consultation process established under the FDA’s “Statement of Policy: Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties.” In that process, the FDA evaluates a scientific and regulatory assessment provided by the developer of a food produced from, containing, or consisting of a plant that is a genetically engineered organism (GMO).
The FDA may require a GMO food to have a label that informs consumers of a material difference between the GMO food and a comparable food if the disclosure is necessary to protect public health and safety or to prevent the label from being false or misleading. The use of a GMO does not, by itself, constitute a material difference.
Subtitle B–Department of Agriculture
(Sec. 111) This bill amends the Plant Protection Act to allow the sale of a GMO food (including imported food and excluding plant pests) only if the FDA has determined through the consultation process that the GMO food is safe and lawful and that determination has been shared with the Department of Agriculture (USDA). The FDA and USDA must report on implementation of this process. A GMO plant may be sold for research, to produce a processing aid or enzyme, or as a nutrient source for microorganisms without meeting these requirements.