BY: Citizens Count
On Thursday, July 7 the U.S. Senate passed a bill that requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop a system for labeling foods that include genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The bill overrules any state labeling requirements.
Vermont has a GMO labeling law that went into effect July 1.
New Hampshire considered, but ultimately defeated, a 2016 bill to require GMO labeling.
Critics of the federal bill, including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, argue that it is too lenient. The bill allows the USDA to set a high threshold for labeling, which means many products that contain GMOs could be exempt. The bill also includes no penalties or fines for products that are not labeled.
Vermont’s law, in contrast, imposes a $1,000 fine per product per day.
Bill supporters argue it informs consumers without unnecessarily stigmatizing products containing GMOs. They note that science has found no negative health effects from consuming GMOs.
Other bill supporters argue that a single, federal labeling standard is more effective than a patchwork of state labeling laws.
The bill now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Do you support GMO labeling in New Hampshire? Let us know in the comments.