August 2, 2016

President Obama Signs GMO Labeling Bill into Law

The Roberts-Stabenow GMO labeling bill—which creates a federal labeling standard for foods containing any genetically modified ingredients—was passed by Congress early last month and signed into law by President Obama this past Friday.

This bipartisan legislation will require food packages to display a text label, an electronic code, a 1-800 number or a universal logo to signify whether or not the product contains GMOs. More importantly, the law provides a uniform definition for GMO to eliminate confusion in the marketplace.

Once the regulations have been written, finalized and implemented, the law will benefit both consumers and food companies. A consistent federal labeling standard will give consumers the level of transparency many have desired and will allow food companies to mitigate the economic impact of multiple state requirements. The bill will also provide the food industry with flexible options to communicate with their customers, depending on size and level of technological sophistication.

Western Growers does not anticipate this bill having an immediate impact on the fresh produce industry as the vast majority of fruits and vegetables are not grown from genetically modified seeds. WG believes this law will help provide a platform for the food industry to educate consumers on the current and potential benefits of genetically modified foods, which will help maintain GMOs as a potential solution to future resource challenges.

For more information, contact Dennis Nuxoll at (202) 296-0191.