Vilsack says Congress must decide GMO labeling

BrownfieldAppImageAg Secretary Tom Vilsack says it’s up to Congress to decide the question of GMO labeling of foods. He told lawmakers on the House Ag Appropriations subcommittee last week that the question comes down to what information should be required, “Do you then put something on the front of the package or the back of the package that says GMO or identifies this or do you survey consumers to find out if they know how to use this information if they’re interested in it. And if you show a substantial number of consumers already knowledgeable then the question is – what’s the necessity of putting something on the package?” Vilsack met with organic and conventional food makers last month to try and come up with a solution.

Subcommittee chairman Robert Aderholt told Vilsack the USDA needs to do more to educate the public about the safety of GMO foods. Vilsack said the agency has been doing that, “But I don’t think it’s just the government that needs to talk about this. I think the industry needs to be more forthcoming and I think there’s now a recognition and appreciation for that, albeit, a bit late. But, I think there’s going to be an aggressive effort from this point forward to educate people so that they can make informed decisions.”

The Grocery Manufacturers Association wants a web and smartphone-based system called Smart Label to disclose GMO ingredients in place of any state GMO laws. Vilsack says the first state GMO labeling law that goes into effect in Vermont this summer will cause consumer “uncertainty and confusion” and ultimately higher prices.

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  1. Bt corn and chemical resistant grains are not a gmo. They are Trans genetically engineered organisms. Gmo is not the problem. ( i want a soybean/winter pea hybrid) The chemicals and seed treatments are killing our soils, water, oceans and life in between. And farmers lively hoods. My proof is the thousands of water tests across the u.s. to confirm it. I do not blame consumers for not trusting us. Our county corn average is 78 bu. Our soil organic matter is 1%. And the county nrcs used all the equip money to build terraces instead of cover crops to build back soil. Gonna be hard to make a living buying chemicals and fertilizer with theses prices and no soil. The banker seems to want his money back every year.

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