Following a 275-150 vote on Thursday, the bipartisan bill is heading for the Senate. If enacted into law, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act would create a voluntary GMO-free certification program overseen by the US Department of Agriculture, and override any state and local GMO labeling laws.
The legislation preempts any state and local restrictions and labeling requirements for genetically modified organisms, foods containing GMOs, as well as non-GMO and “natural” food.
The FDA would review the product before it goes to market and require a label only if a “material difference between food from genetically engineered plants and comparable foods” is found. The companies however would be allowed to label their products as GMO under a new voluntary certification program.
The measure would represent a setback for advocates and voters who lobbied for GMO labeling laws that have passed but are yet to take effect in three states – Vermont, Connecticut and Maine. There are at least 15 other states who have introduced similar regulations on foods containing GMOs.