The debate over whether or not genetically modified organisms (GMOs) should be labeled on food products has just reached a new high point as the U.S. House Agriculture Committee recently approved a bill that will end the state-to-state labeling of GMOs. USA Today reports that H.R. 1599, also known as the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, was introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) this past spring.
The Hill reported that the bill has gained 106 co-sponsors — 91 Republicans and 15 Democrats — in the House. It is uncertain as to whether the bill will pass in the Senate. This bill will not keep companies from labeling their product as GMO-Free, yet it will allow them to apply for it through the Agricultural Department. Proponents of the bill state that the current state-led labeling structure is confusing for shoppers and unfairly conveys that products containing GMOs are unsafe.
Grocery Manufacturers Association found that anywhere from 70 to 80 percent of the ingredients in foods in the United States have been genetically modified. Many opponents of the bill state that it is keeping consumers from knowing what is in the food they buy. Furthermore, if passed, this legislature would overturn existing state laws in Connecticut, Maine and Vermont that have already passed GMO labeling legislature.
"Americans have the right to know what's in food and how it was grown — the same as citizens of 64 other nations that require GMO labeling," said Scott Faber,vice president of government affairs for Environmental Working Group, to Food Safety News . "It's time for lawmakers to recognize that right and stand for GMO labeling."
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