June, 9 2016

(Sidney Herald) Debate Is Drawing A Bullseye On Beets

Debate Is Drawing A Bullseye On Beets
Sidney Herald Staff
Sidney Herald

Efforts are continuing in the United States Senate to develop a compromise on GMO labeling that would circumvent Vermont’s GMO labeling law which goes into effect July 1. That law is a trigger for enacting similar laws in two other states, Maine and Connecticut.

Roberts brought a bill to the Senate floor in March, dubbed by opponents as the Deny Americans Right to Know act, that attempted to forestall Vermont’s legislation. The Kansas Senator is trying again with another bill he says has “workable solutions” to address the concerns that flummoxed his last bill. He doesn’t expect anything definitive to happen on this before the Memorial Day recess.

Senator Jon Tester was among those opposing Roberts’ bill in March, while Senator Steve Daines supported it. The proposal in March would have pre-empted state laws requiring mandatory labeling of biotech products and would have created a voluntary national standard. If after three years, participation in it was not substantial — aka 70 percent of frequently consumed foods — a national mandatory standard with multiple compliance options would have been established by the Secretary for agriculture.

“The DARK Act is a scam that leaves folks questioning what’s in their food,” Tester said at the time. “This is exactly the type of shady corporate ruse that the Senate should be protecting the public against. And I’m pleased today that we stopped bad legislation from moving forward.”

Daines, meanwhile says of the issue, “I have no issue with voluntary programs that meet market demands or consumer preferences. That being said, I believe USDA’s priority should be with making determinations based on sound science regarding the safety of biotech products within its jurisdiction, not on marketing or mandatory labeling efforts that have no bearing on food safety or plant pest risk.”

Read more here.

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