US Senate Passes GMO Labeling Bill

July 8, 2016, 8:44 AM HST · Updated July 8, 4:00 PM
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US Sen. Mazie Hirono. Courtesy photo: Office of the senator.

US Sen. Mazie Hirono. Courtesy photo: Office of the senator.

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono voted yesterday to approve S.764, bipartisan legislation that establishes a mandatory federal labeling system for GMOs.

The bill passed with a 63-30 vote.

“Regardless of your position on GMOs,” said Sen. Hirono, “most of us agree that we all have a right to know what is in the food we eat. I support a mandatory federal system for labeling and disclosing GMOs in food so that consumers across the country have consistent access to information no matter what state they live in.”

The bill passed by the Senate establishes a mandatory federal labeling system that covers more products than the strictest state-level labeling law, Sen. Hirono said.

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“It also strengthens the National Organic Program, which is a clear, GMO-free alternative that is growing in popularity,” said Sen. Hirono. “The bill also protects the rights of states like Hawai‘i to make their own decisions about the role GMO crops should play in a sustainable local food system. It also allows states to establish and enforce penalties if federal labeling requirements are not met.

“Our work does not end with the Senate passing this bill,” Sen. Hirono said. “We need to make sure that the final label options are as clear as possible and the regulatory process takes the concerns of Hawai‘i farmers and consumers into account. I will work closely with the US Department of Agriculture as it implements the labeling standard established by this legislation and to ensure that consumers have access to information about GMO ingredients.”

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