Congress Passes Controversial GMO-Labeling Bill and It Lands on Obama’s Desk to Sign

After months of debate, a compromise in GMO labeling means the bill finally passes, but leaves a bitter taste in our mouths

Critics of the bill are angry about the QR code loophole in the language of the legislation. 

Although it was initially shot down by the House, Congress has finally, after months of debate, passed a bill that requires packaged food companies to label GMO ingredients. Now the bill sits on President Obama’s desk, waiting to be signed into law.

Because there was so much debate about the bill, there is a compromise involved: Companies can post QR codes on its food instead, which would prompt customers to find out GMO information by scanning their smartphones. This, critics argue, is a loophole because the GMO ingredients do not actually appear on the label.

After it is signed, major food companies will have a few years to comply with the bill. Meanwhile, Vermont’s GMO-labeling legislation, which was the inspiration behind the national bill, just went into effect July 1.

"We're not supporting the final bill, because it does allow companies to use the option of a QR code," said Scott Faber, vice president for Environmental Working Group, a company that supports mandatory labels.


Although many representatives believed the legislation did not go far enough to protect consumers’ rights to know, food companies are angry and believe the bill will turn Americans off to GMOs, despite scientific evidence to the contrary.