USDA Planning GMO Labeling Stakeholder Meeting

Cindy Zimmermanbiotechnology, Food, GMO, Government, USDA

vilsack-astaIn the new year, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack plans to bring stakeholders in the genetically engineered food labeling debate to the table to reach common ground on the issue.

“I intend to, after the first of the year, convene a meeting of folks who have been reaching out to me,” said Vilsack. “These are not necessarily Senators or members of Congress but they are folks who are interested in the labeling issue.”

This action comes as some states have passed or are considering their own labeling laws, include a Vermont law scheduled to be implemented in July 2016. Vilsack said he is concerned about “chaos in the market” if more states implement labeling laws with differing provisions and he wants to find a balance “in a way that doesn’t create significant market disruption while at the same time recognizing consumers’ right to know basic information.”

On the federal level, a national standard for GMO labeling passed the House this year but was stalled in the Senate and lawmakers were unsuccessful in getting it included in the omnibus spending bill, so supporters have pledged to renew focus on the issue in 2016.