January 31, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 31

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January 31, 2023

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January 30, 2023

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Federal GMO-Labeling Bill is on the Move as the House Agriculture Committee Approves H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act

On July 14, 2015, the United States House of Representatives Agriculture Committee approved legislation establishing a national standard for labeling food and beverage products made with any bioengineered organisms (commonly referred to as genetically enhanced ingredients or genetically modified organisms ((GMOs)). As of today, the bill has 98 cosponsors and is on the agenda of possible items for the House to consider on the floor next week. If passed, H.R. 1599 will create a system of national uniformity regarding the labeling of food products derived from genetically engineered plants. Such uniformity will prevent the creation of a patchwork of conflicting state or local labeling laws which could interfere with interstate and foreign commerce. 

The proposed legislation addresses both consumers’ interest in having additional information about their food products and the industry’s need for uniform rules. It achieves this by first creating a notice and approval process that developers of bioengineered foods must comply with prior to introducing food products into the market. Developers must receive certification from the FDA that their products are safe for human consumption. Second, the legislation creates a food labeling standard for the definition of “natural” food. Third, it creates a program that employs certifying agents accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to certify that a food was produced with or without genetic engineering to ensure the integrity of the labeling.  

©2023 MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH LLPNational Law Review, Volume V, Number 198
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About this Author

Seth Mailhot, Michael Best Law Firm, Life Sciences and Agribusiness Attorney
Partner

Seth brings more than 20 years of experience in a full spectrum of U.S. Food and Drug Administration-related matters to his leadership of the firm’s FDA Regulatory practice group. Incorporating his training as a chemical engineer and experience gained while serving the FDA with a practical business approach, Seth offers clients a valuable perspective on highly technical areas of the FDA’s regulatory authority.

Prior to joining the firm, Seth worked for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in various capacities and in key roles at several...

202-747-9566
Leah Hurgten Ziemba, Michael Best Law Firm, Agribusiness and Energy Attorney
Partner, Industry Group Chair

Leah takes a big-picture approach in advising clients as they face challenges on environmental, food safety, and regulatory compliance issues. She draws on experience gained in cases involving the EPA, FDA, and other public agencies.

Leah’s success as a counselor, litigator and negotiator reflects her combination of subject matter expertise, industry knowledge, and creativity. Her work includes:

  • Investigating, assessing, and remediating vapor intrusion issues at sites with historic solvent contamination...

608-283-4420
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