On July 23, 2015, the House of Representatives passed HR 1599 with a vote of 275 for and 150 against. The majority of support came from Republicans, but 45 Democrats supported the bill as well.
HR 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, will preempt any state laws that seek to create GMO labeling requirements, including the mandatory labeling law enacted in Vermont that is set to take effect in 2016. Supporters of the bill claim that the enactment of HR 1599 will prevent the creation of an unworkable system of different state laws with no consistency, making compliance for producers difficult. Opponents of the bill claim that HR 1599 harms transparency to the consumer.
In a vote following the passage of the bill, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) made a proposed amendment to the bill’s title, aiming to change the title to “A bill to enact the 'Deny Americans the Right to Know Act' or the 'DARK Act'." The amendment failed 87 to 337.
Written by Tyler R. Etter- Research Assistant
July 24, 2015