Farm Bill Amendment Would Allow State Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders has proposed an amendment to the Federal Farm Bill which would allow states to label genetically modified ingredients in food, without worrying about companies such as Monsanto threatening legal action for doing so.

Recently both Vermont and Connecticut proposed labeling of GMO ingredients but backed down under actual threat of lawsuit from Monsanto, or fear of lawsuit.

Sanders describes the intent of the bill in a piece for Huffington Post:

This week in The United States Senate we have an opportunity to affirm the right of California and Vermont and all states to label food that contains genetically engineered ingredients. Simply put, this amendment gives people the right to know. It says that a state, if its Legislature so chooses, may require that any food or beverage containing a genetically engineered ingredient offered for sale in that state have a label that says so.

The amendment also requires that the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and secretary of U.S. Department of Agriculture to report to Congress within two years on the percentage of food and beverages in the United States that contain genetically engineered ingredients.

Sanders rightly points out that 49 nations in the world, including all of Europe, Japan, China, Brazil, Russia, and most recently, India, mandate labeling of genetically modified foods (if they are not banned outright). Of the world's wealth nations only the United States and Canada do not mandate labeling.

Tags: Genetically Modified Food