The House passed H.R. 1599 but the fight isn’t over yet.
On July 23, 2015 the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599 (275-150). This sweeping bill would prohibit any current or future state law requiring GMO labeling, while at the same time dramatically undercutting federal, state and local government oversight and regulation of GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
The revised bill also includes a mandate for the USDA to create its own non-GMO certification program. While it won’t remove the Non-GMO Project Verified seal from the marketplace, the bill as written would create a competing label that would confuse shoppers and undermine the tremendous progress we’ve made on setting a high standard for GMO avoidance.
This is a serious concern for the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit that has been working since 2007 to successfully establish a consistent and rigorous standard for non-GMO claims. More than 2,000 brands now have the iconic Butterfly on their products, representing over $12 billion in annual sales.
H.R. 1599 is a dangerous bill that undermines democracy and represents the interests of the biotechnology industry over the interests of the American people. By preempting all state and local oversight of GMOs, the bill would negate more than 130 existing statutes, regulations, and ordinances in 43 states at the state and municipal level.
This is the most important fight there will ever be on the GMO issue. The Non-GMO Project will be active in Washington, D.C. in the coming months doing everything in our power to ensure that this bill does not make it through the Senate.
Concerned citizens across the country are asking how they can help fight this bill and how it will impact the Non-GMO Project. Watch our Facebook page for regular updates and sign up for The Butterfly newsletter for ways you can help.
As this moves to the Senate, there will be critical opportunities for non-GMO businesses to make their voices heard. Our brand and retailer partners can expect regular updates and calls to action from the Project over the coming months. We also welcome your questions and input as we work together to protect America’s right to know.