Bills Dealing With Labeling Being Introduce in the House and Senate
A bill that would make GMO labeling voluntary passed the U.S. House last Thursday. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act would require developers of genetically engineered plants to obtain FDA safety clearance on all new plant varieties before those foods are introduced into commerce; uphold FDA’s authority to specify special labeling if it finds a health or safety risk is posed by such a variety; create a legal framework governing the use of label claims regarding either the absence or presence of GMOs in a food product and require the FDA to define the term ‘natural’ on food labels.
A bill introduced in the Senate on Thursday would change Country-of-Origin meat labeling from mandatory to voluntary—a move that clashes with a bill passed in the U.S. House earlier this summer to repeal COOL. Former Senate Agriculture Committee chair Debbie Stabenow introduced the legislation and said the Voluntary Country of Origin Labeling and Trade Enhancement Act of 2015 would comply with the WTO ruling by removing certain meat products from the mandatory labeling program.