Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) is planning on introducing a federal bill to mandate labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients. The bill sets disclosure and labeling requirements for any foods that have been genetically engineered or modified. The bill will be co-sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), who has been active on this issue for years.
While this sounds like good news for those who support labeling of GMO, GE, and GM foods, an article on Alternet suggested that representatives of Walmart, General Mills, Cocoa-Cola, and others who opposed Proposition 37 in California last November may want this bill to become law so stricter bills cannot be passed in state legislatures. Federal laws generally pre-empt state laws.
GMO labeling laws are under consideration in several state legislatures this session, including Washington state, Maryland, New Jersey, Iowa, New Mexico, and Missouri. And there is a backlash against Cheerios and other General Mills brands since that company spent millions to defeat Prop 37.
Rep. DeFazio wrote a letter to Congress last year along with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) asking that legislators support a petition to the FDA asking that body to begin GMO labeling requirements. They said, “we reject the false dichotomy that being for GE food labeling is being anti-GE foods. This isn’t a matter of being for or against GE foods, it’s a basic stance that consumers should be the ones to decide what they eat and feed their families. The FDA should protect consumer rights and prevent consumer deception by requiring the labeling of GE foods.”