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                                                      Calendar No. 379
114th Congress     }                                     {      Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session        }                                     {     114-403
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                      
    S. 2609, RELATED TO ROBERTS SENATE AMENDMENT #4935 TO S. 764, A 
          NATIONAL BIOENGINEERING LABELING DISCLOSURE STANDARD

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION, AND FORESTRY

                                   on

                                S. 2609

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                December 9, 2016.--Ordered to be printed
                
                
                                  ______

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        SENATE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION, AND FORESTRY
                    One Hundred Fourteenth Congress
                             Second Session

                     PAT ROBERTS, Kansas, Chairman
THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi            DEBBIE STABENOW, Michigan
MITCH McCONNELL, Kentucky            PATRICK J. LEAHY, Vermont
JOHN BOOZMAN, Arkansas               SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
JOHN HOEVEN, North Dakota            AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
DAVID PERDUE, Georgia                MICHAEL BENNET, Colorado
JONI ERNST, Iowa                     KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, New York
THOM TILLIS, North Carolina          JOE DONNELLY, Indiana
BEN SASSE, Nebraska                  HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota
CHUCK GRASSLEY, Iowa                 ROBERT P. CASEY, Jr., Pennsylvania
JOHN THUNE, South Dakota























                                                      Calendar No. 379
114th Congress     }                                     {      Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session        }                                     {     114-403

======================================================================

 
    S. 2609, RELATED TO ROBERTS SENATE AMENDMENT #4935 TO S. 764, A 
          NATIONAL BIOENGINEERING LABELING DISCLOSURE STANDARD

                                _______
                                

                December 9, 2016.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Roberts, from the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and 
                   Forestry, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                         [To accompany S. 2609]

    The Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, 
having considered an original bill (S. 2609) to amend the 
Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to require the Secretary of 
Agriculture to establish a national voluntary labeling standard 
for bioengineered foods, and for other purposes, reports 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the 
bill do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of the bill is to preempt state and local 
actions that mandate labeling of whether a food or seed is 
genetically engineered, and establish a mandatory uniform 
national disclosure standard for human food that is or may be 
bioengineered. The disclosure requirement can be accomplished 
with several options--text on package, a symbol, or an 
electronic or digital link disclosure. The legislation allows 
for additional disclosure options for certain food 
manufacturers and provides for exemptions and other 
determinations by the Secretary.

                          Background and Needs

    The solution to the state-by-state patchwork of 
regulations--express preemption--takes effect immediately and 
prevents states, tribal, or local governments from mandating 
labeling on food or seed that are genetically engineered. The 
first state law took effect on July 1, 2016 in Vermont and 
other states have also passed mandatory labeling laws.
    The Secretary of Agriculture is directed to establish a 
mandatory uniform national disclosure standard for human food 
that is or may be bioengineered. For this purpose, the 
definition of bioengineering is set in statute and establishes 
the scope of the disclosure standard. The comprehensive federal 
regulatory review process has determined that there is no 
difference in safety between a bioengineered food and its non-
bioengineered counterpart. The legislation ensures that the 
disclosure standard and USDA's implementing regulations treat a 
bioengineered food the same as its non-bioengineered 
counterpart by precluding any statements that would suggest or 
imply that one is safer than the other. The legislation 
requires mandatory disclosure with several options for 
compliance--text, a symbol, or an electronic or digital link 
disclosure. This will replace state laws, including those which 
mandate on-package labeling. The only language that is required 
to accompany the electronic or digital link disclosure option 
is ``scan here for more food information''. Nothing in the 
requirement can be used to denigrate biotechnology.
    Within one year of passage, USDA is directed to study any 
potential technological concerns related to using electronic 
means of disclosure that are dependent on wireless and 
telephone networks, unique to small or rural retailers, 
voluntary activities in place or under consideration to address 
potential challenges, and relevant costs and benefits. If 
necessary, the Secretary could allow for additional and 
comparable disclosure options only if they conclude that 
consumers lack sufficient access through electronic or digital 
disclosure.
    In addition, the legislation allows website addresses or 
telephone numbers to satisfy the requirement for small food 
manufacturers. Very small food manufacturers and restaurants 
are exempt from the requirement. The disclosure requirement 
only applies to human food solely subject to the Food, Drug, 
and Cosmetic Act labeling requirements as well as some meat and 
poultry products. Those foods where a meat, poultry, or egg 
product is the main ingredient are exempt. Furthermore, the 
legislation prohibits the Secretary from considering any food 
product derived from an animal to be bioengineered solely 
because the animal may have eaten bioengineered feed. 
Enforcement of the disclosure requirement is accomplished 
through an examination and audit process that allows for a 
hearing before a summary of the audit is made public. Recall 
authority is not authorized for this standard and no Federal 
fines or other penalties are permitted. A food that is not 
subject to the disclosure requirement cannot automatically 
claim to be ``non-biotech.'' Separately from the disclosure 
standard, the law permits organic products to make a ``non-
biotech'' claim. The legislation does not impact the 
authorities or obligations under the Federal Food, Drug, and 
Cosmetic Act, the Federal Alcohol Administration Act, or the 
Organic Foods Production Act. And, the legislation shall be 
implemented in a manner that is consistent with U.S. trade 
obligations under international agreements.

                         Summary of Provisions

    The Secretary of Agriculture is directed to establish 
through rulemaking a mandatory uniform national disclosure 
standard for human food that is or may be bioengineered. For 
this purpose, the definition of bioengineering is set in 
statute and establishes the scope of the disclosure standard. 
Congress intends an item of food to be subject to the 
definition if it contains genetic material that has been 
modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid 
(DNA) techniques and this same modification could not be 
otherwise obtained through conventional plant breeding or found 
in nature. Subparagraph (A) limits application of the 
definition to a particular type of genetic material (a food 
containing genetic material modified through recombinant DNA 
techniques). On the other hand, food that is not genetically 
modified is not intended to be included in the scope of the 
definition. Use of some gene editing or breeding technologies 
during product development would lead to certain food products 
that would not be subject to the standard because the foods do 
not contain genetic material modified through recombinant DNA 
techniques or because the modification could be obtained 
through conventional breeding or found in nature. The statutory 
definition of bioengineering is fully consistent with the 
approach adopted by most countries to date.
    The disclosure requirement applies to human food subject to 
the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act labeling requirements as well 
as some meat and poultry products. It is the intent of Congress 
that the disclosure requirement applies only to those foods 
subject solely to the labeling requirements under the Federal 
Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and excludes from its scope 
alcoholic beverage products over which the Tax & Trade Bureau 
has labeling authority pursuant to Section 205 of the Federal 
Alcohol Administration Act. Unpackaged foods and food processed 
or prepared in a restaurant or similar retail food 
establishment are also excluded from the scope of the 
disclosure requirement. It is the intent of Congress that such 
products also are covered by the preemption provisions set 
forth in Subtitle F, Section 295.
    It is the intent of Congress that the mandatory disclosure 
provisions not apply to animal feed, pet food or ingredients 
used in animal feed or pet food. The language prohibits the 
Secretary from considering any food product derived from an 
animal to be bioengineered solely because the animal may have 
eaten bioengineered feed. Further, Congress intends that meat, 
milk, eggs and other human food products derived from animals 
that consume bioengineered feed or feed ingredients are not 
considered to be bioengineered food subject to mandatory 
disclosure.
    Those foods where a meat, poultry, or egg product is the 
main ingredient are expressly exempt. Very small food 
manufacturers, restaurants, and similar retail food 
establishments are exempt from the disclosure requirement. And, 
Congress intends the Secretary to provide exemptions and other 
determinations under which a food is not considered 
bioengineered. Congress recognizes that states that had passed 
labeling mandates provided exceptions for a range of food 
products including those sold online; those that may include 
enzymes, additives, and processing aids; foods with medicinal 
and supplementary applications; and other characteristics. In 
order to meet the legislative intent, the Secretary, when 
determining the amounts of a bioengineered substance that may 
be present in food, or the threshold requirement, shall 
minimize the impacts on all aspects of the domestic and 
international value chain.
    The comprehensive federal regulatory review process has 
determined that foods produced using bioengineering are safe 
and not materially different in any way from those made using 
other methods. This is consistent with scientific research 
conducted and reviewed by both federal agencies and private 
entities. Consequently, the legislation ensures that the 
national disclosure standard and USDA's implementing 
regulations treat the safety of a bioengineered food the same 
as its non-bioengineered counterpart. The mandatory disclosure 
requirement is designed solely to address marketing matters, 
not based on any concerns with respect to safety of 
bioengineered foods or ingredients, which is why authority for 
implementation of this program is given to the Secretary under 
the Agricultural Marketing Act. The legislation does not change 
the authority of the FDA to require that a bioengineered food 
be accurately labeled should any material difference arise with 
respect to safety or nutrition. FDA's authority over 
bioengineered foods remains the same.
    The legislation directs the Secretary to provide 
manufacturers with three particular disclosure options--text on 
package, a symbol, or an electronic or digital link 
disclosure--with alternative reasonable options for food in 
small or very small packages. Congress directs USDA to be 
impartial on a manufacturer's selection of options as those 
manufacturers shall have sole discretion in choosing from 
whatever disclosure options are available. In addition, the 
legislation allows website addresses or telephone numbers to 
satisfy the requirement for small food manufacturers. In 
considering definitions of terms, package sizes, types of 
manufacturers, and similar decisions, Congress expects efforts 
be taken to ensure consistency with other federal requirements 
and definitions. The legislation directs the Secretary to 
ensure that any language on the food package that accompanies a 
telephone number or an electronic or digital link is limited to 
indicating that those sources will provide ``more food 
information.'' When a consumer accesses one of the electronic 
or digital link disclosure sources, the legislation requires 
the bioengineering disclosure to be consistent and conspicuous.
    Congress intends USDA to establish any text or the symbol 
that could appear on packaging to solely satisfy the disclosure 
requirement and not be used as a tool to denigrate 
biotechnology. In doing so, USDA should identify the symbol, 
its placement, and its type size. With regard to the placement 
and type size, Congress does not believe the symbol should be 
given more prominence than the required label elements, 
including ingredient statement, nutrition information, and 
statement of manufacturer, packer, and distributor. Congress 
does not intend the electronic or digital link disclosure 
option to include any text on the package, other than the 
language expressly stated in statute, which could be used to 
denigrate biotechnology.
    Congress intends for the standard to be technology neutral 
and reflect technological changes over time. Congress 
recognizes that consumers are interested in increased access to 
information about their food. We understand that consumers 
increasingly research and make purchases online and in this 
scenario, they are accessing product information and 
disclosures online and not directly via the product packaging. 
The Secretary, as part of the implementation of this act, 
should consider the ways consumers access product information 
for online sales. The Secretary should look at the 
opportunities associated with electronic disclosures where the 
point of sale is online, and may provide for comparable options 
to access disclosure information.
    Congress is aware that some food manufacturers have 
voluntarily responded to the growing number of consumers who 
are seeking detailed information about the products they 
purchase when consumers are interested in getting that 
information. Consumers expect a wealth of information at their 
fingertips and have become accustomed to getting the answers to 
any questions they may have about a product they wish to 
purchase via their smartphone or computer. As such, current 
private sector initiatives led by food manufacturers reflect 
the change in the type of information consumers expect and how 
they expect to receive it. These efforts provide access to 
detailed information on thousands of food products, and 
consumers will be able to access more detail about their food 
than ever before. Additionally, these efforts are intended to 
satisfy the disclosure requirement and will be helpful tools to 
members of the agriculture community who are interested in 
voluntarily providing more information to the consumers about 
the science and resources necessary to provide the safest, most 
affordable, and abundant food supply in the world.
    Congress recognizes that some food manufacturers are 
already voluntarily disclosing the use of bioengineered 
ingredients either digitally or on package. Additional 
manufacturers may want to disclose information about 
ingredients prior to USDA establishing the uniform 
bioengineered disclosure standard. Congress does not intend to 
prevent food manufacturers from voluntarily disclosing 
ingredient information prior to or after USDA establishes the 
disclosure standard and compliance date for meeting such 
standard. Additionally, Congress understands that some 
manufacturers may not disclose information until a uniform 
disclosure standard has been finalized by USDA. However, food 
manufacturers must meet the USDA disclosure standard when the 
compliance dates are effective.
    The legislation directs the Secretary, within one year of 
passage, to conduct a study of any potential technological 
concerns related to using electronic or digital link 
disclosure. In particular, the study shall consider 
availability of wireless internet or cellular networks; 
availability of landline telephones; challenges facing small 
and rural retailers, efforts taken by retailers and other 
entities to address potential technological and infrastructure 
challenges, and the costs and benefits of installing evolving 
technology. Congress intends that this study will occur before 
USDA establishes the uniform disclosure standard and compliance 
deadline for such standard. Therefore, the Committee directs 
the Secretary that the study shall not measure the extent to 
which manufacturers disclose information or consumers choose to 
access information via electronic or digital disclosure 
methods. If the Secretary determines, based on the results of 
the study, that consumer access to the disclosure is not 
sufficient, the legislation authorizes the Secretary to provide 
additional and comparable disclosure options within the 
national bioengineered food disclosure standard and 
implementing regulations.
    The ability of the FDA and the USDA to enforce food safety 
laws is not impacted by the legislation. Both agencies have 
authority to protect the consuming public from unsafe food 
products under their respective jurisdictions.
    With respect to the requirement for disclosure of 
bioengineered foods, Congress intends USDA to have authority 
for an examination and audit process that allows for a hearing 
before a summary of the audit is made public. Recall authority 
is not authorized for this standard and no Federal fines or 
other penalties are permitted.
    Congress intends USDA, FDA, the Federal Trade Commission, 
and any other relevant agency to maintain existing authorities 
to enforce against any claims that are false or misleading. The 
legislation does not affect the authority of States to enforce 
against claims that are false or misleading or that otherwise 
violate State consumer protection laws, except to the extent 
that any such enforcement would create a de facto labeling 
requirement that is not identical to the Federal bioengineered 
food disclosure standard and implementing regulations under 
this legislation. Specifically, Section 296 codifies the fact 
that the legislation does not preempt any State or Federal 
remedy under common law or statutory causes of action.
    Although the Secretary may consider establishing 
consistency between the bioengineered food disclosure standard 
and the existing Organic Foods Production Act rules and 
regulations, nothing in this legislation would require USDA to 
take any action or make changes in the Organic Foods Production 
Act rules and regulations. Congress does not intend the 
legislation to impact the authorities or obligations under the 
Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Federal Alcohol 
Administration Act, or the Organic Foods Production Act. 
Additionally, the legislation shall be implemented in a manner 
that is consistent with U.S. trade obligations.
    Further, Congress does not intend a food that is not 
subject to the disclosure requirement to be able to 
automatically claim to be ``non-biotech.'' There is no intent 
to define or clarify those claims in the legislation.
    Congress recognizes the importance of having a uniform 
national standard for the disclosure of whether a food is or 
may be genetically engineered to prevent a patchwork of state, 
tribal, and local requirements. The preemption provision in 
Section 295 applies to all disclosure requirements regarding 
whether a food or seed is genetically engineered. Congress 
selected the term ``genetically engineered'' food or seed, 
rather than ``bioengineering,'' because it is the intent for 
the provision to broadly preempt state, tribal, and local 
requirements regarding genetically engineered foods or seed 
regardless of whether the technology used to develop the food 
or seed falls within the definition of bioengineering. The 
intended goal is national uniformity and avoiding the confusion 
and disputes that would arise if a jurisdiction could require 
disclosure relying on one or more other terms that might be 
used to refer in various ways to genetic engineering, 
biotechnology, or breeding techniques, now or in the future.
    For seed, the only State and local requirements that are 
preempted are those for disclosure of whether seed is 
genetically engineered. All other seed labeling requirements, 
whether Federal, State or local, and whether existing or 
future, would be unaffected by the Act. Examples include, but 
are not limited to, requirements related to disclosure of 
information on kind, variety, type, hybrid, mixtures, lot 
numbers, origin, inert matter, germination, and presence of 
weed seed, treated seed, hard seed, and inoculated seed.
    The Congress recognizes states have expressed an interest 
in regulating the disclosure of bioengineered foods. The 
language in section 293(e) provides states with the legal 
authority to establish disclosure requirements for 
bioengineered foods, provided, the state establishes a 
definition for bioengineered food and disclosure requirements 
that are identical to those established by USDA. The state 
would be preempted from establishing requirements that differ 
from the federal requirements for bioengineered foods.
    Congress intends to preserve remedies available through 
private rights of action established by state or Federal 
statutory or common law. Some examples of state remedies that 
would be available under this clause include monetary damages 
and injunctive relief. However, the state remedy could not 
impose labeling or disclosure requirements regarding the 
presence of bioengineered material or establish a definition 
for bioengineered food, genetically engineered food, or any 
similar term or establish any other requirements that differs 
from the requirements established by USDA under the national 
bioengineered food disclosure standard.
    In Section 2, organic products are permitted to make a 
voluntary ``non-biotech'' claim. USDA is given no new authority 
under the biotechnology disclosure provisions related to ``non-
biotech'' claims.
    Furthermore, the Congress recognizes that food 
manufacturers are facing multiple, costly label changes with 
varying compliance dates. Thus, Congress urges the Secretary of 
Agriculture to consult with the Secretary of Health and Human 
Services so that food manufacturers will be able to minimize 
the number of label changes to comply with the national 
bioengineered food disclosure standard and other nutrition or 
health-related updates. New Federal requirements requiring 
label changes will impact virtually every food and beverage 
product on the market, thus it is essential that timeframes for 
compliance for these changes be considered and harmonized to 
the greatest extent possible. Congress requests that the 
Secretary of Agriculture keep the relevant Committees informed 
of efforts to coordinate the timeframes for compliance for 
federal label changes.
    It is also Congress's intent that USDA utilize and 
recognize other label changes and standards where appropriate 
to minimize burdens imposed by the mandatory disclosure 
program. This legislation is intended to address a consumer 
demand for marketing information in a manner that creates as 
little interruption in the value chain as possible. For 
instance, only the manufacturer decides how best to comply with 
the standard, including whether to indicate a product may 
contain bioengineered food or may be bioengineered. It is not 
intended to increase the costs of food manufacturing or changes 
in distribution or handling. Furthermore, every effort was 
taken to ensure farmers access to seed technology and not limit 
the options available to agriculture production. Congress 
intends USDA to take every effort to minimize the impacts on 
growers, handlers, processors, manufacturers, distributors, 
retailers, and consumers.

        Legislative History of Related Bills S. 2609 and S. 764

    On Mar. 1, 2016, the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, 
and Forestry ordered to be reported favorably to the Senate, 
14-6, S. 2609, an original measure amending the Agricultural 
Marketing Act of 1946.
    On July 23, 2015, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation reported S. 764, with an amendment in the nature 
of a substitute reauthorizing and amending the National Sea 
Grant College Program Act, with written report No. 114-90.
    S. 764 passed the Senate with an amendment by Unanimous 
Consent on July 28, 2015. On Sept. 18, 2015, the House passed 
the bill with further amendment pursuant to H. Res. 421.
    On July 7, 2016, the Senate concurred in the House 
amendment to S. 764 with Senate amendment #4935, an amendment 
in the nature of a substitute, submitted by Senator Roberts, 
which consisted of a national bioengineering labeling 
disclosure standard, 63-30 margin. The House agreed to the 
Senate proposal on July 14, 2016.
    The resulting enactment P.L. 114-116, establishes a 
national bioengineering labeling disclosure standard.

                            Estimated Costs

    In compliance with subsection (a)(3) of paragraph 11 of 
rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee 
states that, in its opinion, it is necessary to dispense with 
the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) of that subsection 
in order to expedite the business of the Senate.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with subsection (b)(2) of paragraph 11 of 
rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee 
states that, in its opinion, it is necessary to dispense with 
the requirements of paragraph (1) of that subsection in order 
to expedite the business of the Senate.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

Section-by-Section Analysis of Amendment #4935 to S. 764, the Agreement 
          on an Agriculture Biotechnology Disclosure Solution


Section 1

            Subtitle E of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946--
    Section 291 amends the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 
by providing definitions for a national bioengineered food 
disclosure standard.
    Section 292 provides that the national bioengineered food 
disclosure standard will apply to claims indicating that food 
is bioengineered and the standard specifically applies to food 
subject either to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act 
(FDCA), or the Federal Meat Inspection Act, Poultry Products 
Inspection Act, and the Egg Products Inspection Act (FSIS 
authorities) only if the food subject to the FSIS authorities 
falls under at least one of two possible criterion.
    The first criteria is whether the FSIS food's most 
predominant ingredient is, by itself, subject to FDCA 
jurisdiction. If the most predominant ingredient is subject to 
FDCA jurisdiction, the FSIS regulated food will fall under the 
national standard.
    The second criteria is whether the FSIS food's most 
predominant ingredient is broth, stock, water, or a similar 
solution, and the second most predominant ingredient is, by 
itself, subject to FDCA jurisdiction. If the first ingredient 
is broth, stock, water, or a similar solution, and the second 
ingredient is subject to FDCA jurisdiction, the FSIS regulated 
food will fall under the national standard.
    It also clarifies that the definition of ``bioengineering'' 
does not affect other Federal authority or programs.
    Section 293 authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to 
promulgate regulations establishing a mandatory national 
bioengineered food disclosure standard for food that contains 
or may contain bioengineering.
    Subsection (b)(2) provides for various requirements in the 
regulations including authorization for the Secretary to 
determine as appropriate, an amount of bioengineered substance 
for food to be a bioengineered food under the national 
standard, and provides for exemptions and other determinations 
by the Secretary. It also authorizes three particular 
disclosure options, reasonable options to address package 
sizing, and options for small food manufacturers.
    Subsection (b)(3) does not allow regulations promulgated 
and food disclosures made pursuant to paragraph (2) within the 
disclosure standard to treat a bioengineered food differently 
than its non-bioengineered counterpart based on its safety 
notification through the Federal regulatory review process.
    Subsection (c) authorizes a study of factors that would 
affect access to bioengineering disclosures through electronic 
or digital link methods.
    Subsection (d) includes various disclosure requirements, 
including direction to the Secretary requiring on-package 
language to accompany an electronic or digital link and 
telephone number disclosure, protection for personal consumer 
information, and a minimum size requirement.
    Subsection (e) intends to allow a State to have an 
identical standard and mandatory disclosure requirements as 
provided through Section 293. Here, the requirement that a 
State standard must be identical to the national bioengineered 
food disclosure standard furthers the purpose of national 
uniformity on bioengineering food disclosure.
    Subsection (f) requires the Secretary to consider 
establishing consistency between the national standard and the 
Organic Foods Production Act of 1990.
    Subsection (g) provides the Secretary with enforcement 
authority for examination, audit, and disclosure. The Secretary 
may not recall any food under the authority of this subtitle.
    Section 294 requires consistency with US trade obligations 
and preserves specific other authorities. It also prevents the 
Secretary from authorizing a ``non-GMO'' or similar claim 
because the national standard does not require that the food 
bear a disclosure that the food is bioengineered.
            Subtitle F of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946--
    Section 295 takes two actions. The section first defines 
food according to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. 
Secondly, the provision preempts any state or political 
subdivision law relating to the labeling of whether food or 
seed is genetically engineered or developed or produced using 
genetic engineering. Here, preemption furthers the purpose of 
national uniformity on genetic engineering food disclosure, 
including the prohibition of any state or local requirements 
that would prevent uniformity in any disclosure of this type.
    Section 296 codifies language regarding exemptions from 
Federal preemption.

Section 2

    Certification of food under the Organic Foods Production 
Act of 1990 is sufficient to allow a ``non-GMO'' or similar 
claim.

                      Rollcall Votes in Committee

    By a rollcall vote of 14 yeas and 6 nays as follows, the 
bill was ordered reported without amendment:

        YEAS                          NAYS
Mr. Roberts                         Ms. Stabenow
Mr. Cochran                         Mr. Leahy\1\
Mr. McConnell\1\                    Mr. Brown
Mr. Boozman\1\                      Mr. Bennet
Mr. Hoeven                          Mrs. Gillibrand
Mr. Perdue                          Mr. Casey
Mrs. Ernst
Mr. Tillis
Mr. Sasse
Mr. Grassley
Mr. Thune
Ms. Klobuchar
Mr. Donnelly
Ms. Heitkamp

\1\By proxy

                  ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF SENATOR STABENOW

    I respectfully file dissenting views to this report that 
accompanies S. 2609. On March 1, 2016, the Committee on 
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry ordered to be reported 
favorably to the Senate, by a vote of 14-6, an original measure 
amending the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, which I, along 
with five members of the Committee opposed. This measure 
subsequently failed to advance on the floor of the Senate. The 
content of this committee report however, has been used to 
describe the Roberts Senate Amendment #4935 to the House 
amendment to S. 764, which was a legislative product agreed to 
by me and Mr. Roberts. That bill became P.L. 114-116, which 
creates a national bioengineering disclosure standard within 
the Agricultural Marketing Act of the Department of 
Agriculture. As such, I respectfully dissent solely because 
this report accompanying S. 2609 includes information on 
legislative text never referred to or acted on by the Committee 
on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that, in its 
opinion, it is necessary to dispense with the requirements of 
that paragraph in order to expedite the business of the Senate.

                                  [all]