>>> The Senate deal over GMO labeling is a step in the right direction, but still contains exemptions
Tammie Fields, WTSP
June 24, 2016 http://www.wtsp.com/news/politics/deal-over-gmo-labeling-step-in-right-direction-but-still-contains-exemptions/255351599
Tampa, Florida - For the first time ever, you could know exactly what's in your food. The Senate has reached a deal requiring mandatory labels on genetically modified foods that are found in up to 80 percent of packaged food in the U.S.
You could have a choice though. The Senate's deal would create a single nationwide mandatory label.
Jennifer Butler says they've taken the guesswork out of knowing about GMOs where she works as the grocery manager at Abby's Health and Nutrition store in Tampa. The store has been around for nearly two decades and prides itself on organic, non-GMO food.
"We don't have a lot of the chemical ingredients that a lot of other companies will choose to put on their shelves. I think most customers if given the option to get something that's NON-GMO would, of course, take that option, but right now there's no way to know."
Regardless of where you stand on the issue of GMOs, Dr. Lauri Wright, assistant professor at USF Health and a registered dietician, says labeling is a step in the right direction. "I think it's always important that consumers have that knowledge."
If the legislation becomes law, food companies could select from among three options to alert you if a product contains GMOs. They could disclose GMO ingredients on the package using words, a symbol created by the USDA, or they could adopt an electronic option such as a QR code.
"What I don't want to see is that label being something that scares everyone away. We saw that many decades ago with saccharin. GMOs, they've been in our food supply for over 18 years and they really have been found to be safe," Dr. Wright says.
But the labels may not cut down on the confusion after all.
Meats and other food derived from livestock given GMO feed would not have to be labeled. In addition, food where meat, poultry or eggs are the primary ingredient, but still contain GMOs would also be exempt.
The labels aren't a done deal yet. The House, which approved a GMO labeling bill last year, would need to approve the Senate's measure first.