National Biotech Disclosure Signed Into Law

corn 2On Friday, President Barack Obama signed national biotech disclosure into law, which now requires USDA to draft rules within two years to establish labeling and disclosure standards that could include using scan codes on packaged foods as well. The law also preempts states from establishing separate standards, such as the Vermont genetically engineered labeling law that went into effect in July, but is now superseded by the new act.

“President Obama’s signature today will put a stop to the harmful patchwork of state GMO labeling laws and set in place a uniform, national disclosure system that will provide balanced, accurate information to consumers,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a statement. He also pointed out that for decades, biotechnology has made it possible for farmers to grow safe and healthful crops while reducing their environmental impact.

“We are pleased that Congress and the administration have moved swiftly to prevent consumer confusion and protect agricultural innovation,” Duvall concluded.

U.S. GMO Food Labeling Bill Passes Senate

88e9c-zippydThe U.S. Senate last night voted 63-30 to pass Chairman Senator Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow’s bipartisan agriculture biotechnology disclosure solution. “Tonight’s vote is the most important vote for agriculture in the last 20 years. We worked hard to ensure the marketplace works for everyone. I mean everyone. Our legislation allows farmers to continue using sound science to produce more food with less resources, gives flexibility to food manufacturers in disclosing information, and gives access to more food information that consumers demand,” said Roberts. Read more here:

In a statement released by the American Farm Bureau Federation, President Zippy Duvall said, “The Senate did the right thing by voting to move toward a full debate on the merits of the GMO labeling bill. The legislation is not perfect, but it does take critical steps to prevent a confusing 50-state patchwork of laws disclosing the presence of entirely harmless ingredients. It is time for the Senate to pass this legislation so the House can do likewise at its first opportunity.”

Farm Bureau Supports National GMO Pre-emption Bill

da35d-72350_hr_1997The American Farm Bureau Federation is supporting proposed Senate legislation that establishes federal pre-emption of what was expected to grow into an unruly patchwork of state-by-state mandatory GMO labeling laws.

“Our nation’s top scientists agree that crops enhanced through GMO technology are safe, and this bill will act to stop the expansion of state laws that threaten interstate marketing and effectively ignore science,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall, following a vote by the AFBF Board of Directors to support the bill.

“The bill is far from perfect, but it correctly puts the federal government in the driver’s seat in important areas such as protecting interstate commerce and new crop development techniques. There is no public health or scientific justification for the bill’s mandatory disclosure provisions, but the national uniformity established by this bill is paramount.” 

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