Congress Passes GMO Bill
July 15, 2016

The House of Representatives on July 14 passed its bill establishing a national mandatory system of disclosing foods containing genetically modified ingredients. As in the Senate, the bill passed the House by a large margin - 306 to 117. The White House has already announced that the President will sign the bill.

The federal legislation is expected to bring some certainty and consistency to food companies, which have feared a patchwork of conflicting state laws after Vermont's GMO food labeling law took effect July 1.

The legislation will mandate disclosure of genetically engineered ingredients but will allow companies to do it through scannable smartphone codes as an alternative to on-package text or symbol. The bill prevents states from requiring on-package labeling of GMOs, as well as exempts foods in which meat and poultry are the main ingredients.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will have two years to write the rules, which will cover foods created with conventional recombinant DNA techniques. A working group has already been formed to implement the legislation.