Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow have released a long-awaited GMO labeling agreement. The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) applauds the bipartisan efforts to secure a national standard that preempts a state-by-state patchwork, thereby avoiding a conflict of regulatory laws between states. NAWG supports their proposed bill, which allows for a variety of labeling options which do not vilify biotechnology, such as QR codes, and directions to websites and phone numbers. In the bill is also included a more narrowly specified definition of biotechnology, that excludes new breeding techniques that are critical to wheat research and other areas of agriculture, and differ from biotechnology.
“GMOs have been scientifically proven to be safe for human consumption and there is no nutritional difference,” says NAWG President Gordon Stoner. “It is vital that a patchwork of state laws not jeopardize access to safe, sustainably produced food; this national standard will assure food security for generations to come.”
On Wednesday evening, the Senate voted 68 to 29 on a procedural motion to substitute in the Roberts-Stabenow bill for the previous GMO labeling proposal from Chairman Roberts. Following this, the Senate is expected to hold a cloture vote next Wednesday (July 6), followed by a full bill vote later in the week requiring 60 votes to passage.