NATIONAL BIOENGINEERED FOOD DISCLOSURE STANDARD
(Senate - July 14, 2016)

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[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 114 (Thursday, July 14, 2016)]
[Page S5141]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




            NATIONAL BIOENGINEERED FOOD DISCLOSURE STANDARD

  Ms. BALDWIN. Mr. President, I would like to engage in a colloquy with 
the Senator from Michigan, Ms. Stabenow, who serves as the ranking 
member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry 
and is a lead sponsor of the GMO labeling bill, S. 764, approved by the 
Senate on July 7, 2016. I would like to seek a clarification regarding 
the intent with regard to a provision in the bill that relates to 
consistency with the Organic Foods Production Act and related rules and 
regulations.
  Specifically, section 293(f) of the bill states that:

       ``[t]he Secretary shall consider establishing consistency 
     between--


       (1) the national bioengineered food disclosure standard 
     established under this section; and
       (2) the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 
     et seq.) and any rules or regulations implementing that Act. 
     ``

  Given this provision, I would like clarification from my colleague 
that nothing in this legislation would require USDA to change the 
Organic Foods Production Act rules or regulations to comport with the 
new bioengineered food disclosure standard and definitions created by 
S. 764, as passed by the Senate on July 7, 2016.
  Ms. STABENOW. I thank the Senator from Wisconsin for engaging on this 
issue and seeking clarification on this point. S. 764 amends the 
Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. S. 764 does not amend the Organic 
Foods Production Act or its rules or regulations. More specifically, 
section 293(f) is only intended to require that USDA consider aligning 
the rules and regulations of the new GMO disclosure program established 
under this bill with the rules and regulations of the existing National 
Organic Program, not the inverse. Again, I will clarify that S.764 does 
not provide any authority to amend the Organic Foods Production Act or 
its rules and regulations.
  In addition, I would draw to the attention of my colleague another 
section of this bill, section 292(b), which states:

       "(b) APPLICATION OF DEFINITION.-The definition of the term 
     `bioengineering' under section 291 shall not affect any other 
     definition, program, rule, or regulation of the Federal 
     Government.''

  I believe this provision clarifies that nothing in the new 
bioengineered food disclosure standard established in this legislation 
would require USDA to take any action to change the existing Organic 
Foods Production Act rules and regulations.

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