It is unofficially dubbed as the Pompeo bill — as it was introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan. — and would ban states from adopting individual labeling laws. However, it would allow manufacturers to advertise that their foods are non-GMO.
The bill would also give companies a chance to earn GMO-free labels by applying to the U.S. Agriculture Department, similar to the process by which products are labeled as “USDA organic.”
But the bill does face some opposition from groups, including the Environmental Working Group. Scott Faber, vice president of government affairs at the EWG, told USA Today, “There are many senators on both sides of [the] aisle who are loath to rob states of a long-standing power to inform their consumers,” Faber said.
There is also opposition due to the fact that labeling would vary from state to state and could cost shoppers a lot more at the grocery store. The labeling may also imply that non-GMO ingredients are unhealthy — a contested topic.
This is not the first time a GMO labeling bill has been introduced to federal legislation, and states like Connecticut and Maine have passed laws that have not yet taken effect. New York also passed a labeling bill this past spring.
The Pompeo legislation will be voted on the House floor later this month.