by Ben Nuelle
Tuesday the Senate Ag Committee will mark-up the GMO labeling bill. Who is the key lawmaker to watch? The GMO labeling bill proposed by Kansas Senator and Senate Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts would prevent a patchwork of state labeling laws from going into effect and would instead back a voluntary approach.
Roger Bernard with Informa Economics says the key lawmaker to watch is Senate Ag Committee ranking member Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
“How she comes down on this issue could be very important for what happens on that panel. One would have the expectation that at least the session that was post-poned from last week is now on the schedule again. That may be a signal Roberts has enough votes to move it forward.” Bernard says.
Bernard adds it’s going to be a challenge for agriculture to get this going.
“The House side is on record. I think they would go along with the voluntary approach and barring that state patchwork from going in place but you know we have a very limited amount of time from this thing. You can’t just have a decision come up on this one June 30 with a law that starts July 1 in Vermont because those labels don’t get printed overnight,” Bernard says.
Bernard says Vilsack has already had meeting with key players such as FDA and nothing has come out of it.
Ron Hays of Radio Oklahoma Network contributed audio to this report.