The GMO labeling bill passed by Congress and signed into law last week puts labeling efforts into a holding pattern while the U.S. Department of Agriculture works on the rulemaking process. Senate Bill 764, the compromise labeling bill, was among several bills signed by President Barack Obama Friday. It directs the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a national mandatory bioengineered food disclosure standard. The bill allows USDA two years to complete the rulemaking process, effectively postponing any labeling requirements until the rulemaking is complete. However, USDA may choose to rush the rulemaking process in the final months of the Obama administration. The bill also preempts state laws, such as the one in Vermont that prompted the discussion on a national level. It’s estimated that 75 percent to 80 percent of the U.S. food supply includes genetically engineered ingredients, according to Forbes. While the Food and Drug Administration has said GMO’s are safe for consumption, pro-labeling groups argue that safe or not, consumers have a right now what’s in their food.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.