Merkley’s GMO bill would create national labeling

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon US Sen. Jeff Merkley is behind a bill to make sure consumers could find out whether a food has genetically modified ingredients.

Merkley’s bill is designed as a compromise to one Congress is voting on that would ban any state from passing a law requiring GMO foods be labeled. If passed, Merkley said, there would be no US standards for GMOs.

What Merkley’s proposed bill would do is create those national labeling standards that would replace any state-by-state labeling issues. One idea is to create a special GMO symbol all companies would use on packaging.

Congress is expected to vote on the bill to ban labeling next week. Merkley hopes enough pressure from consumers will spur lawmakers to replace it with his compromise bill. 

Vermont, Maine and Connecticut voters passed a bill to label GMO foods, while Oregon’s effort narrowly failed in November 2014.