WASHINGTON – President Obama signed a bill into law over the weekend that supporters are calling a GMO labeling bill but that opponents charge is exactly the opposite.
In fact, the new law was supported by Monsanto. It passed the House, 306-17, and the Senate, 63-30.
The new law overturns a landmark Vermont law that would have required the text on GMO foods to say “produced with genetic engineering. While the Vermont law made it easy for consumers to understand what is in their foods, the new federal law only adds confusion, opponents say.
The new law gives America’s largest food companies three options to label their products that contain GMO ingredients: a label on the package, a symbol on the package, or an electronic QR code that must be scanned with a smartphone to find out what is in the food. Smaller food companies would have the option of listing a website or telephone number.
“This law is a sham and a shame, a rushed backroom deal that discriminates against low-income, rural, minority and elderly populations,” said Andy Kimbrell, executive director at the Center for Food Safety. “The law also represents a major assault on the democratic decision making of several states and erases their laws with a vague multi-year bureaucratic process specifically designed to provide less transparency to consumers.”
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