Legislation to avoid a patchwork of state laws on labeling of genetically modified (GMO) foods should make such labels mandatory, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told farmers in New Orleans on March 4, 2016.
Vilsack’s remarks at the Commodity Classic, a U.S. farmers’ trade show and multi-group convention, come as the U.S. Senate agriculture committee sends its proposal for a voluntary national labeling scheme to the full Senate.
Given Vermont’s plans for a GMO label law by this summer, federal legislation has to come quickly to avoid “the chaos that could ensue if we have 50 different states developing their own labeling requirements,” he said.
It is clear that what we’re facing today is not a safety or health issue. It is a market issue. – Pat Roberts, Republican Senator.
The chairman’s mark — a first draft of legislation introduced at a committee by its chairman, in this case Republican Sen. Pat Roberts — passed the agriculture committee 14-6 on March 1.
“It is clear that what we’re facing today is not a safety or health issue. It is a market issue,” Roberts said in a release. “This is really a conversation about a few states dictating to every state the way food moves from farmers to consumers in the value chain.”
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