- A companion bill for the House's Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, passed earlier this year, could be introduced in the Senate by Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) if he finds a Democratic co-sponsor and enough support to push the bill through.
- Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), who authored the bill, believes the Senate will vote on it this year. He told The Hill, "The Agriculture Committee will be moving forward with a hearing before too long, and it’ll get good bipartisan support and hopefully that will mean we’ll get it to the floor."
- However, opponents don't believe the bill will receive the same amount of support, noting how long it has taken for Hoeven to find a co-sponsor. They fear the negative repercussions such a bill could have on conventional and organic agriculture, which could be affected by GMOs used in nearby crops.
Many legislators are also concerned about the effects this bill, if passed, could have on consumers who want to know whether GMOs are in the products they buy, which is about 93%, according to a recent survey. While there are legislators and food companies concerned about GMO labeling, one recent study showed that a GMO label would not necessarily deter consumers from buying those products.
"This bill would keep Americans in the dark about what is on their dinner plates," Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said in a statement. "It would not only stop states from providing more information to their consumers, it would sharply limit [the Food and Drug Administration's] ability to provide this information to consumers nationwide in the future."
Pompeo disagrees. He told The Hill, "It protects the folks that want to avoid consuming GMOs, makes sure U.S. agriculture can continue to use the technology to feed the next billion people and avoids a nasty patchwork of laws."
GMO labeling activists have recruited celebrities like actress Gwyneth Paltrow to support their cause, but Pompeo believes that this is actually a sign that he is winning. "They have given up trying to convince people they are right by using logic and science and moved to bring in a celebrity," he told The Hill.