GMO Labeling: National Regulations Bill Moves To Senate

GMO labeling on a national scale might soon become a reality. The state of Idaho is preparing to push the federal government to adopt a nationwide genetically modified food labeling law, but only a voluntary one.

Republican Representative Steve Miller, who is also an organic wheat farmer, is the sponsor of the GMO labeling law. Representative Miller’s genetically modified food labeling legislation is reportedly intended to “pre-empt” similar efforts on the local level. Miller hopes that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA) will adopt the nationwide GMO labeling law and create a national standard growers and consumers can easily understand and rely upon.

Steve Miller’s GMO labeling resolution has now cleared the Senate Agriculture committee and moves on to the full Senate for a vote. Democratic Idaho Senator Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise was the sole dissenting vote when the bill was debated in committee.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, GMO labeling laws have been introduced in 26 states. Connecticut and Maine are the only two states that have approved such laws, but they have yet to implement the new dictates. In 2005, Alaska passed a law to require the labeling of GE salmon. The FDA is still studying genetically engineered salmon to determine if it is safe for human consumption. More than 60 countries around the world already have nationwide GMO labeling laws.

Republican Idaho Senator Jim Patrick, who is on the Senate Agriculture committee, said GMO crops have increased his yield and “reduced the amount of labor and fuel” he uses to cultivate his fields. Republican Senator Mary Souza also voted in favor of the national GMO labeling law legislation but expressed concerns that the bill did not note GMOs are safe.

“I just think that kind of a definitive statement is a bit premature again, before we go through the process of having the FDA closely research this,” Senator Souza added.

A total of 80 percent of all food grown and sold in the United States is genetically modified. The battle pushing for nationwide GMO labeling laws continues to gain momentum. Organic farmers, health-conscious consumers, and food safety advocacy groups are leading the “right to know what is in our food” charge.

During a campaign event in Iowa, then-candidate Barack Obama made a similar promise, drawing large cheers from the largely agricultural community, but his administration has not fulfilled that campaign promise. A multitude of biotech executives from Monsanto and other major corporations have been appointed to key positions in the USDA, FDA, and the EPA in the past several years. Monsanto routinely contributes to candidates in both political parties in both state and national elections.

Do you think GMOs are safe, and should a national GMO labeling law be passed?

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