July 15, 2016

Vermont GMO Labeling Law Preempted, Only Two Weeks After Going Into Effect

Seller Beware: Consumer Protection Insights for Industry

On July 14, hours before the start of a seven-week congressional recess, the House passed a national GMO labeling bill by a vote of 306 to 117. As we discussed here, the Senate recently approved the measure by a vote of 63 to 30. House passage effectively ends a multi-year debate over a national GMO labeling standard and brings preemption of the Vermont GMO labeling law almost to the finish line just two weeks after going into effect.

This bill marks a compromise for both sides of the aisle, with 81 Democrats and 36 Republicans voting against the bill on the House floor. While Democrats were successful in securing a mandatory GMO labeling standard, Republicans negotiated flexibility in the disclosure, which can be in the form of text, a symbol, or a QR code.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law within the coming days. Food manufacturers will then want to watch closely for USDA's implementation of the GMO labeling standard.

© Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP 2016 All Rights Reserved. This blog post is intended to be a general summary of the law and does not constitute legal advice. You should consult with counsel to determine applicable legal requirements in a specific fact situation.

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