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Vilsack Calls for Mandatory GMO Labeling
USAgNet - 05/27/2016

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is now urging members of Congress to institute mandatory GMO labeling, calling on legislators to put the interests of consumers before those of big food.

"We have thought about this and debated it and had good conversations about it, but it is time to move on to action, to give consumers a process by which they get information and get it in a way which is most acceptable to them, and in a way that provides us enough time to educate consumers about precisely where to look, when to look, and what to look at," Vilsack said during the recent Organic Trade Association's Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.

In the last year, more than 4,000 chefs signed a petition from celebrity chef and Food Policy Action cofounder Tom Colicchio asking members of the Senate to reject the DARK Act, an anti-GMO labeling bill which would allow individual states to reject labeling laws.

The bill was subsequently rejected. Shortly thereafter, in the absence of a federal mandate, a number of leading American food companies, such as General Mills, Campbell's, Kellogg, and Mars, voluntarily chose to introduce GMO labeling nationwide, citing the need to adhere to the long-awaited GMO labeling bill passed by Vermont.

A key factor in the decision to go national, the companies said, was the fact that it would be simpler to produce a single, unified label for the entire country than to produce one label for Vermont, and whichever states might follow, and another for the rest of the country.

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