CD109: Know Your GMO with Cara Santa Maria

CD109: Know Your GMO with Cara Santa Maria

Nov 29, 2015

Cara Santa Maria joins Jen to discuss a House of Representatives passed bill which creates a national system for labeling genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and prohibits states from enacting their own GMO labeling laws.

Talk Nerdy

Follow Cara on Twitter: @CaraSantaMaria

Like Cara on Facebook: ScienceCara

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The Bill

H.R. 1599: Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015

  • Allows the Federal government to require labels for genetically modified plants if the government determines there is a difference in nutrition, allergic reactions, or to protect public health.
  • Prohibits the sale of non-regulated genetically modified plants unless the Secretary of Heath and Human Services certifies that the food is safe for humans and animals.
  • Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to publish a list of and information discovered about each non-regulated genetically modified plant that has been approved for sale on a public website.
  • Defines “non-regulated genetically engineered plant” as one contains genetic material from a different species or has been modified through DNA altering techniques.
  • Prohibits States from creating or continuing “any requirement” that is different from the regulations created by this bill.
  • Allows private companies to certify whether genetically modified plants are present in food products.
  • Creates a voluntary program for labeling genetically modified foods.
    • To qualify as Non-GMO, the seed must not be genetically modified and the crop must be separated during growth, harvesting, storage, and transportation. For livestock, the food fed to the livestock must not have contained any genetically modified products.
    • The labels cannot imply that Non-GMO foods are safer or better than GMO foods.
  • Anyone who uses the Non-GMO label on GMO foods will be fined $10,000 or less. Each day the violation occurs will be considered a separate violation.
  • Passed the House of Representatives 275-150
  • Sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas
  • 37 Pages
  • House Rules Committee hearing on HR 1599

Sound Clip Sources

Hearing: Labeling Genetically Modified Foods, House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, June 18, 2015.


  • Rick Blasgen: President and CEO Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
  • Gregory Jaffe: Director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Biotechnology Project

YouTube: What’s a GMO? from Jimmy Kimmel Live, October 9, 2014.

Additional Information

Joe Rogan Experience #655 with GMO scientist Kevin Folta

Upcoming Meet-Up

Peggy Sinnott comedy

Hang out with Jen at the Purple Onion at Kells on December 3rd

Music Presented in This Episode

Cover Art

Design by Only Child Imaginations


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