Cong. Davis: GMO Labeling Measure Was Best Solution

July 20, 2016
A sign hangs at a rally Friday July 1, 2016 in Montpelier, Vt., protesting a proposal by Congress that would allow companies to use computer labels to indicated whether a product has been made with the help of genetic engineering.

A sign hangs at a rally Friday July 1, 2016 in Montpelier, Vt., protesting a proposal by Congress that would allow companies to use computer labels to indicated whether a product has been made with the help of genetic engineering.

Wilson Ring/Assocated Press

Republican Congressman Rodney Davis says he ‘reluctantly’ voted for a measure telling consumers if foods contained genetically modified ingredients. The bill was approved as Congress adjourned last week.  "It's the best solution, because Democrats in the Senate ran out the clock," said the Taylorville Republican.

The labeling measure for genetically modified organisms - or GMO’s - and sent to President Obama - would require packages to carry a text label, symbol, or QR code that’s readable with a smartphone. 

Davis says biotechnology has played a big role in crop yields, and GMO foods have proven to be safe - so there’s no reason the label should be confusing.

“Frankly, the label ought to read – checked, using proven scientific GMO technology to know that less pesticides are being used on this seed than what would normally happen in a non-GMO crop," he said.  "We’re growing more yields to help feed the world because we’re going to have billions of more people and the only way to feed the world is through bio-technology like GMO technology.”

President Obama is expected to sign the measure, which would pre-empt stronger GMO labeling laws in Vermont and other states, that mandate more specific language on product labels.

Davis discounts the Vermont law, saying it was designed to boost that state’s economy, and nothing more.

"What Vermont lawmakers told the rest of America was - that if Prairie Farms Dairy in Central Illinois shipped ice cream to Vermont, they needed to put a label on there, thus, raising the cost for consumers," he said.  "But it was okay for Ben & Jerry's - environmentally conscious ice cream -  to not have to label their products."

The House passed the legislation 306-117 last Thursday. Opponents in the Senate included Democratic Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who said the measure fallls short.

Story source: WILL