Prior Law: GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are created by switching DNA between living things to grow food with desirable characteristics. Example: GMO salmon receives a gene making it reach full size in 18 months rather than 3 years. Consumers uncomfortable with eating gene splicing demand labels identifying GMO foods so they can avoid them. Vermont GMO Law required most GMO foods sold in Vermont be labeled “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering.” Other states are preparing similar laws. This would increase food industry costs.
New GMO Law: Effective when the President signs it this week, new Federal Law provides:
- State GMO labeling laws are void. This wipes out Vermont’s and other state GMO labeling laws. Industry can ignore them.
- S. Department of Agriculture will draft new federal law’s content within 2 years. This means there are no GMO labeling requirements in U.S. for at least 2 years.
- GMO label disclosures due in 2 years can be a QR symbol, which many foods already have on label. No need to have “GMO” anywhere on label.
- Additional technical provisions determined within 2 years.
The Food Lawyers® Analysis: Always remember the basic rule of life: FOLLOW THE MONEY. Vermont’s simple and clear GMO law (and others like it) would cost industry big money, so the food industry teamed with federal politicians to make GMO disclosures more obscure than the tax code – – which is another example of follow the money. GMO labeling law is nonexistent in U.S. for the next 2 years. The Food Lawyers® will publish an update in 18 months or sooner as appropriate.
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