The House of Representatives voted today to approve compromise legislation sponsored by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) that will preempt the Vermont and other state labeling laws relating to genetically engineered (GE) foods. The bill creates a national, uniform disclosure standard for GE foods that will consist of a text, symbol, or digital or electronic link. It now awaits President Obama’s signature before becoming law. Passage of the law marks a major victory for industry, but the GE labeling issue will remain active for many years to come as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) works to implement the disclosure standard in the next two years. We expect that USDA will aim to issue its final rule by July 2018, with additional time for companies to come into compliance with that disclosure standard.
In this post we summarize the key components of the disclosure standard and the bill’s likely effect on state labeling laws.
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