JLI Reacts to Senate Vote on GMO Labeling Bill

For Immediate Release
July 8, 2016

JLI Reacts to Senate Vote on GMO Labeling Bill

WASHINGTON– The following is a statement from Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Just Label It and Stonyfield Farm:

The GMO labeling legislation passed by the Senate last night falls short of what consumers rightly expect – a simple at-a-glance GMO disclosure on the package.  It also contains ambiguities that could needlessly narrow the scope of biotechnologies covered and is vague on what GMO content levels require labeling and enforcement penalties for non-compliance. These weaknesses mean that the fight for national mandatory GMO transparency now shifts to USDA and to the marketplace, where companies should think twice before they remove GMO labels from their packages.  Pro-GMO labeling efforts now need to focus on effective implementation that delivers what all consumers want and deserve.  While we regret that VT’s landmark labeling bill will now be postponed, it is now certain that within a few years, every GMO food will carry an on-package disclosure.  Millions of consumers and hundreds of advocacy organizations have successfully moved America into the 21st Century.  And while Just Label It cannot support the compromise Senator Stabenow helped develop, we are grateful for her leadership in standing firmly in favor of a national, mandatory GMO disclosure system. We also applaud Senators Jeff Merkley, Barbara Boxer, Jon Tester, Pat Leahy, Bernie Sanders, Richard Blumenthal, Dick Durbin and Chris Murphy for fighting to give Americans the same rights as consumers in 64 other nations.

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