Although Some GMO Sympathizers Embrace Mandatory Labeling, It’s A Disaster In Waiting


Co-authored by Bruce Chassy and Jon Entine

GMO labeling issue will be coming to a head in 2016 on a number of fronts:

  • Vermont’s mandatory labeling bill, which is being appealed, is set to

    The issue of mandatory labeling of food and beverage products containing GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) is a contentious one that is being fought on battlegrounds ranging from municipalities and counties to the state and federal level. In May 2014, the Vermont legislature approved H112 which mandates that food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labeled effective in July, 2016. Connecticut and Maine have approved similar legislation, however, their laws will not take effect until other states pass similar legislation. Maine’s law requires five neighboring Northeastern states pass labeling laws while Connecticut’s law requires states with populations totaling more than 20 million to pass similar laws before its takes effect.

    According to the Center for Food Safety, some 70 bills have been introduced in more than 30 states to require the labeling of GM foods, while other states have tabled or rejected mandatory labeling bills.

    Mandatory GMO labeling has also appeared on state ballots. Initiatives lost in California and Washington in 2013. Colorado voters voted down a similar initiative in 2014 and in Oregon, which was the first state to reject a mandatory labeling law in 2003, defeated Measure 92 by the narrowest of margins, 815 votes.

    In each of these state initiative battles, a coalition of agricultural producers, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, food and ingredient processors, and food and beverage manufacturers has opposed the mandatory labeling initiatives. They have formed a national organization, the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food (CFSAF) whose mission statement declares that “CFSAF is dedicated to providing policy makers, media, consumers and all stakeholders with the facts about ingredients —> Read More