U.S. Senate Approves National Labeling Standard for GMO


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The U.S. Senate voted 63-30 in favor of legislation that would enforce a labeling standard for GMO across the entire country. If the bill passes, food manufacturers would have to disclose ingredients that are genetically modified in products via a label on the packaging of the item.

A GMO law for labeling that was much more stringent started on July 1 in Vermont. Food companies were not pleased because it could cause other laws in different states and that would cause them a nightmare to have it implemented.

Several of the bigger name corporations that include Coca-Cola and Pepsi already have pulled products out of grocery stores in Vermont in response to the law.

This new legislation would preempt any law by states. The American Farm Bureau President said the legislation was not perfect, but would avoid chaos of a different law in each state and an array of confusing labels for the GMO ingredients that were proven safe.

Besides giving corporations a single set of labeling requirements for the entire country, the legislation would require them to put a QR code on packaging rather than printing out the bioengineered ingredients.

Bioengineered food must be labeled if the products contain any ingredients that were derived through using genetic material from different kinds of organisms. It must be something that would not have happened in nature, such as flood or insect resistant crop.

However, genetically modified ingredient listing is useless without having additional context material with the listing.

It would be good to know if a product was made to be disease or pest resistant, because it might mean the farmer did not use the same number of chemicals or pesticides.

However, according to recent studies, the modified ingredients are not intrinsically bad. For one, the National Academies of Engineering, Medicine and Science declared that GMOs were safe to consume following a lengthy review of scientific data. Over one hundred scientists as well as Nobel laureates are urging that Greenpeace support GMOs.

This legislation will now go the U.S. House of Representatives. The House has worked on its own labeling requirements for GMO that are different from those from the Senate.

They will most likely need to hash out things and come to some form of a compromise prior to the legislation becoming a law.

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