Recently, there has been a new bill introduced in the House of Representatives that would allow manufacturers more control and power over which foods are labeled, and which are not in regards to foods that contain no genetically modified ingredients. This bill, introduced by Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS), takes a different approach to a bill currently under consideration by D.C. lawmakers which would make it mandatory for companies to label all foods that have been genetically modified in some form.
Ultimately, the bill Pompeo introduced, if passed, would give companies the ability to make their own decisions regarding whether to advertise their food products as GMO free. The previously proposed legislation would make it mandatory that companies reveal to consumers which foods contain GMOs.
Those in the food industry strongly support Pompeo’s bill, maintaining that legally requiring manufacturers to label products in regards to GMOs could be misleading, because foods and ingredients that are genetically modified pose no harm to consumers. Currently, laws regarding the labeling of GMOs between states are inconsistent, adding to the confusion and cost for consumers and manufacturers according to Pompeo. If Pompeo’s bill passes, the FDA review process of foods containing GMOs would be strengthened as well. Under the legislation proposed by Pompeo, certification would be overseen by the USDA; foods certified as GMO free by the Agriculture Department would be provided with a special government label that manufacturers can utilize to market foods, with the companies paying for the program through user fees.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Pompeo stated that, “We’re perfectly happy to have folks to understand if there’s GMOs or not in their food. It is simply not the case that you can have affordable food that is safe and 1,000 different rules.”
At REA JET, we know there has been much debate and confusion in recent years regarding food labeling of organic foods, and those that are free of genetically modified (GMO) ingredients. Consumers understandably want to know what is in the foods they eat, and whether any ingredients could potentially be dangerous.
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