WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, a Republican, and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat, announced on June 23 that they have reached a bipartisan compromise in regard to national GMO labeling.

The compromise comes just ahead of the Vermont law requiring GMO labeling, which goes into effect July 1. The Roberts/Stabenow agreement would preempt the Vermont law in favor of a national system for disclosure of food that contains GMOs. 

“This bipartisan agreement is an important path forward that represents a true compromise,” both senators said. “Since time is of the essence, we urge our colleagues to move swiftly to support this bill.”

The compromise would create three labeling options: text, a symbol or an electronic or digital link. 

The National Grain Feed Association (NGFA) and National Council of Farm Cooperative (NCFC) commended the senators and also hoped for swift approval. 

Congressional action is needed to avert major supply chain disruptions and inefficiencies in production, storage, transportation, manufacturing and distribution of food and feed that would translate into significant cost increases for consumers, NGFA said.

The National Academy of Sciences released a report in May that contributed to the strong scientific consensus that modern biotech crops are safe to eat and safe for the environment.

“The package is also a victory for consumers across the country who will have more information about how their food was produced than ever before,” said Chuck Conner, NCFC president.