Clearer View of GMO Labeling Rules Before 2017: Vilsack

Posted on 03/09/2017 10:26 AM

Funding needed to complete required GMO labeling report  


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USDA will probably release a notice of proposed rulemaking for GMO labeling regulations before year's end, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said. He added the department will also probably send a request for a proposal in October for a study – mandated by the GMO labeling law – on the effectiveness of disclosing GMO information electronically. Vilsack said he hopes to complete the study in the summer of 2017.

Timeline. “We are very committed to getting this done in the time frame that Congress has directed,” Vilsack told the department's Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture.

Funding issue. Congress must pass a measure to fund the government by September 30, and Vilsack said lawmakers should use that opportunity to fund the study as well. Otherwise, the rulemaking process could be delayed, he said. “We are in the process of trying to encourage our friends in Congress as they deal with the budget process at the end of this fiscal year, either via a continuing resolution or through a budget, to basically state unequivocally that the resources will be there for us to do the study,” he said.

Vilsack stressed the need for transparency to the public and U.S. international trading partners when writing the labeling rules. “We want to do this well,” he said. “We want to reduce the risk of litigation questions that could potentially arise, as they often do in rulemaking,” Vilsack said. Vilsack also said the USDA would work to make sure any labeling rules are compliant with World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments.


 

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material; therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.

 

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