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Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri, Harvest covers agriculture-related topics through a network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.

GMO Label Bill Passes US House

grocery_store_pickles.jpg
U.S. Department of Agriculture
/
flickr Creative Commons
A shelf in a grocery store.

The U.S. House passed a national standard for labeling food containing genetically-modified organisms, or GMOs, yesterday. But as Harvest Public Media’s Peggy Lowe reports, consumers may still have problems getting that information.

The bill, now passed by both the House and Senate, allows companies three ways to disclose that there are GMOs in their products. They can put text directly on the package, offer a phone number or website, or they can use a QR code that a shopper can scan with a smart phone.

Vermont Democrat Peter Welch says that makes a mockery of consumer information.

“When you’re grocery shopping, you’re trying to get home, get dinner on, you’ve got kids who gotta go to a school practice, and you’re supposed to stop, and scan the bar code, go to a website, to see whether that can of black bean soup has GMOs or not," he says.

The bill nullifies Vermont’s more stringent law. It’s expected to be signed by President Obama.

Peggy Lowe joined Harvest Public Media in 2011, returning to the Midwest after 22 years as a journalist in Denver and Southern California. Most recently she was at The Orange County Register, where she was a multimedia producer and writer. In Denver she worked for The Associated Press, The Denver Post and the late, great Rocky Mountain News. She was on the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of Columbine. Peggy was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan in 2008-09. She is from O'Neill, the Irish Capital of Nebraska, and now lives in Kansas City. Based at KCUR, Peggy is the analyst for The Harvest Network and often reports for Harvest Public Media.