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Washington - Obama Signs Bill Requiring Labeling Of GMO Foods

Published on: July 29, 2016 06:45 PM
By: AP
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FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2012, file photo. products labeled with Non Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) are sold at the Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins store in Los Feliz district of Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2012, file photo. products labeled with Non Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) are sold at the Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins store in Los Feliz district of Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Washington -  President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill that will require labeling of genetically modified ingredients for the first time.

The legislation passed by Congress two weeks ago will require most food packages to carry a text label, a symbol or an electronic code readable by smartphone that indicates whether the food contains genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

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The Agriculture Department has two years to write the rules, which will pre-empt a Vermont law that kicked in earlier this month.

Congressional passage came over the strong objections of Vermont’s congressional delegation. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch argued that the measure falls short, especially compared with the tougher labeling requirements in their state. While the bill gives companies the three options for labeling, the Vermont law would require items be labeled “produced with genetic engineering.”

Advocates for labeling and the food industry, which has fought Vermont’s law, have wanted to find a national solution to avoid a state-by-state patchwork of laws. While the food industry ended up supporting the final bill, many of the advocates did not, arguing that many consumers won’t be able to read electronic labels and that there aren’t enough penalties for companies that don’t comply.

While there is little scientific concern about the safety of those GMOs on the market, advocates for labeling argue that not enough is known about their risks and people want to know what’s in their food.

Genetically modified foods are plants or animals that have had genes copied from other plants or animals inserted into their DNA. The bulk of the nation’s genetically engineered crops are corn and soybeans that are eaten by livestock or made into popular processed food ingredients such as cornstarch, soybean oil or high-fructose corn syrup.

The food industry says 75 percent to 80 percent of foods contain genetically modified ingredients — most of those corn and soy-based. The Food and Drug Administration says they are safe to eat.



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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 29, 2016 at 07:28 PM Judith Says:

This could be the only good thing this president has ever done

2

 Jul 30, 2016 at 10:57 PM Mark Levin Says:

What a horrible horrible law if it's the way this is described. The food and beverage industry is already saddled with so many rules and regulations that make no sense.

There is NOTHING wrong with GMO. In fact, WE ARE ALL GMO!!!!!! Even the non GMO is in fact GMO. This is such hypocrisy.

I'm so happy coke told the State Of Vermont when they came out with their edict. COKE told Vermont to go to purgatory and after the date the law goes into effect, NO MORE COKE IN VERMONT!

3

 Jul 31, 2016 at 02:48 AM BrachaDe Says:

Reply to #1  
Judith Says:

This could be the only good thing this president has ever done

This is a lie. All labeling initiatives and gmo activists are infuriated. There is no labeling with a bar code. It was created to confuse the consumer. 97% of Americans do not want GMOs in their food. They are making it look like Obama did a good thing when he actually did a bad thing. He gave extreme power to Monsanto today.

4

 Aug 01, 2016 at 01:26 AM charliehall Says:

Reply to #2  
Mark Levin Says:

What a horrible horrible law if it's the way this is described. The food and beverage industry is already saddled with so many rules and regulations that make no sense.

There is NOTHING wrong with GMO. In fact, WE ARE ALL GMO!!!!!! Even the non GMO is in fact GMO. This is such hypocrisy.

I'm so happy coke told the State Of Vermont when they came out with their edict. COKE told Vermont to go to purgatory and after the date the law goes into effect, NO MORE COKE IN VERMONT!

A rare time that I am in agreement with Mark Levin. GMOs are safe and to say otherwise is junk science.

5

 Aug 01, 2016 at 01:28 AM Charles B Hall Says:

Reply to #3  
BrachaDe Says:

This is a lie. All labeling initiatives and gmo activists are infuriated. There is no labeling with a bar code. It was created to confuse the consumer. 97% of Americans do not want GMOs in their food. They are making it look like Obama did a good thing when he actually did a bad thing. He gave extreme power to Monsanto today.

Monsanto is no more or less evil than any other big company. And probably 99.97% of Americans will be shocked to realize that all corn and 99.9999% of all wheat is genetically modified and has been for thousands of years -- modern wheat doesn't even have the same number of chromosomes as its wild ancestors!

6

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