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Mandatory labeling for genetically modified food is now passed. In a 306 to 117 vote. The bipartisan legislation S.764 and preempts state laws like the legislation in Vermont.
The White House says President Obama will sign the compromise bill.
The new bill creates a nationwide standard, but can be a little unclear to how that will be achieved according to Dr. Ruth MacDonald, Chair of Food Science and Human Nutrition with Iowa State University.
The bill allows for the USDA Secretary of Agriculture to: “establish a national mandatory bioengineered food disclosure standard with respect to any bioengineered food and any food that may be bioengineered.”
As well as: “Establish such requirements and procedures as the Secretary determines necessary to carry out the standard.”
And that means working with the Food and Drug Administration.
MacDonald says, “The FDA has the authority for labeling. They’re responsible for making sure that foods are properly labeled, that they have the ingredient lists appropriate that the nutrition fact panel is accurate. The USDA oversees meats primarily, some eggs. So, they have to work in some partnership for products that contain both meat and non-meat.”