WASHINGTON — With Vermont’s state labeling mandate law for foods with bioengineered ingredients schedule to go into effect in July 2016, the Grocery Manufacturers Association is ratcheting up its calls for Congress to pass federal legislation establishing a uniform food labeling standard. The G.M.A. is challenging the Vermont law in federal court but warned that food manufacturers must plan for its implementation. In the process, they have identified even more costs and challenges, the G.M.A. said. Among more recently emerging concerns is a clause fining food companies up to $1,000 per day if a mislabeled product is found on Vermont shelves, even if the manufacturer was not responsible for it being in the store. The G.M.A. estimated that national food supply chains, even with state-of-the-art supply chain logistics, could see 5% to 10% of products mislabeled in stores at any given time. This could cost the industry as much as $10 million per day, the G.M.A. said.

Pamela G. Bailey, president and c.e.o. of the G.M.A.
“Legislation to protect our national food labeling system has strong bipartisan support, and we are pleased to see congressional committees holding hearings on the bill to understand the issues,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president and chief executive officer of the G.M.A. “It is vitally important that the committees move this bill forward so it can be considered and passed by the House this summer and then in the Senate as soon as possible.”