P. Scott Shearer, Vice President

June 27, 2016

1 Min Read
GMO compromise reached in Senate

Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), ranking member, reached an agreement on genetically modified organism labeling days before the Vermont law goes into effect.

The compromise requires mandatory “disclosure” but gives companies various options on informing the public including text on packages, a symbol or an electronic link to a website. Small food manufacturers can use websites or telephone numbers to meet the requirement. Very small food manufacturers and restaurants are exempt. Meat and dairy products (steaks, loins, pork chops, etc.) from animals fed GMO feed are exempt. Foods where meat, poultry and egg products are the main ingredient are exempted.

However, multi-ingredient meat and poultry products may have to bear a GMO label depending on the product’s formulation and whether any other ingredient has been genetically engineered.

All human food subject to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act labeling requirements will be required to comply.

The Senate is expected to consider the bill next week. It will take 60 votes to pass. The House of Representatives is in recess until July 5 and will not be able to consider the bill until then. Congress leaves for the conventions and summer recess on July 15, so there are few legislative days left to get this done. 

About the Author(s)

P. Scott Shearer

Vice President, Bockorny Group, Inc.

Scott Shearer is vice president of the Bockorny Group Inc., a leading bipartisan government affairs consulting firm in Washington, D.C. With more than 30 years experience in government and corporate relations in state and national arenas, he is recognized as a leader in agricultural trade issues, having served as co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for U.S.-China Trade and co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for Trade Promotion Authority. Scott was instrumental in the passage of China Permanent Normal Trade Relations and TPA. He is past chairman of the USDA-USTR Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products and was a member of the USAID Food Security Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the Bockorny Group, Scott served as director of national relations for Farmland Industries Inc., as well as USDA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs (1993-96), serving as liaison for the Secretary of Agriculture and the USDA to Congress.

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