Merkley’s GMO bill would create national labeling

Congress voting next week on bill to ban GMO labeling

In this Oct. 23, 2014 file photo, a grocery store employee wipes down a soup bar with a display informing customers of organic, GMO-free oils, in Boulder, Colo. Food companies are mounting an aggressive year-end push to head off mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods. The food industry wants the labeling to be voluntary, and it hopes to get a provision in a massive spending bill that Republicans and Democrats want to wrap up this week. If that occurs, companies would not be forced to disclose whether their products contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon US Sen. Jeff Merkley is behind a bill to make sure consumers could find out whether a food has genetically modified ingredients.

Merkley’s bill is designed as a compromise to one Congress is voting on that would ban any state from passing a law requiring GMO foods be labeled. If passed, Merkley said, there would be no US standards for GMOs.

What Merkley’s proposed bill would do is create those national labeling standards that would replace any state-by-state labeling issues. One idea is to create a special GMO symbol all companies would use on packaging.

Congress is expected to vote on the bill to ban labeling next week. Merkley hopes enough pressure from consumers will spur lawmakers to replace it with his compromise bill.

Vermont, Maine and Connecticut voters passed a bill to label GMO foods, while Oregon’s effort narrowly failed in November 2014.

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