The U.S. House Agriculture Committee approved a bill Tuesday to prevent states from requiring companies to label food with genetically engineered ingredients.

USA Today reported that Rep. Mike Pompeo from Kansas introduced the measure that’s opposed by consumer groups and organizations like the Center for Food Safety that say consumers should have the right to know if they’re eating food that’s been genetically modified.

The bill would formalize a voluntary process for labeling food as “GMO-free” but ensure that states like Vermont which have sought to impose mandatory GMO food labeling won’t be allowed to do so.

The House is expected to vote on the measure this month but USA Today reported that the bill “faces an uncertain future.”

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Consumers increasingly want to know more about where their food comes from and how it is produced,” Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, said of the voluntary approach. This bill “satisfies that demand while also recognizing what we know about the safety of the food that our farmers produce.”

The House bill also would allow companies to label their products as GMO-free by applying to the Agriculture Department – a process similar to the popular “USDA organic” labeling initiative. The Food and Drug Administration would then review the safety of a product before it enters the marketplace, putting into law a process that is currently voluntary but widely used by food companies.

Vermont last year became the first state to require mandatory labeling, starting in 2016. The law has been challenged in court by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and other groups. Connecticut and Maine have both passed laws to require labeling, but they have yet to take effect. More than a dozen other states are considering similar oversight.

Rep. Peter Welch told reporters in a phone call: “The legislation essentially says to consumers, ‘Shut up, we’ll let you know what we want you to know when we want you to know it.’

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