Plenty of folks harbor concern over genetically modified organisms. In some cases, that concern has motivated efforts to mandate labeling of GMO food products.
The House Agriculture Committee has recently moved to halt those efforts. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:
The bill [headed to the House floor] represents a major victory for the food and chemical industries, which fought and failed in court to stop mandatory GMO labeling. Individually and through trade associations, big Minnesota food companies such as Land O’Lakes, Cargill, Hormel and General Mills supported the bill that the agriculture committee approved.
If passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by the president, the bill will do what the courts have refused to do: Stop Vermont from implementing a mandatory GMO labeling law next year. Maine and Connecticut also have passed GMO labeling laws that would be thwarted.
The bill lays at a nexus of conflicting issues. Should the federal government dictate which laws states can pass? Are the states who mandate labelling intruding upon the rights of food companies? Is the failure to disclose GMO status indicative of fraud? An answer to any one of these questions affects the context in which we might answer the others.