Coming on the heels of the reintroduction of the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, on March 3, 2015, the New York State Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection voted 9 to 6, with one abstention, to pass bill A.617, which would require food made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labeled as such.
A.617, titled “An act to amend the general business law and the agriculture and markets law, in relation to the labeling of genetically modified foods,” would require labeling for raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, seed, and seed stock produced with genetic engineering. The bill also details the penalties for misbranding and sets forth various exemptions to the GMO labeling requirement.
Under this proposed law, any food for human consumption, seed, or seed stock offered for retail sale in New York is misbranded if it is entirely genetically engineered or partially produced with genetic engineering and that fact is not clearly and conspicuously disclosed on the product’s packaging. Fines for misbranding are a civil penalty of not more than $1000 per day, per product.
Any person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity may be held responsible for false labels and misrepresentations, but retailers are not subject to penalties unless: