First Mandatory GMO Food Labeling Law Coming July 1, 2016

Vermont will soon become the first state in the country to require food companies to label food that contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This new state law has many in the business community worried about the potential cost associated with GMO labeling, especially if a patchwork of state laws emerge that create a complex regulatory burden on food production and sales.

Forcing companies to label foods containing GMOs could also violate free speech and mislead consumers. GMO labeling would inherently signal to consumers that something is wrong with those products even though major scientific organizations including the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association believe genetically modified foods are safe to eat. A newly released report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found no evidence of adverse health effects in humans from the consumption of GMOs.

Federal and state governments should not be in the business of coercing companies to offer new products or services that don’t endanger the health of consumers. If a patchwork of state laws does emerge, Congress should consider legislation prohibiting state governments from negatively impacting interstate commerce.

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