Sugarbeet grower leaders from across the country are gathering in Scottsdale, Ariz., in early February to discuss the broad variety of policy and regulatory issues our industry faces in 2016 and finalize our strategies to successfully address each of them.
GMO Labeling -- At the top of our agenda is the GMO labeling issue that was not resolved last year. Everyone knows that a solution is needed very early this year to preempt the Vermont mandatory labeling requirement that goes into effect on July 1, 2016. USDA Secretary Vilsack and congressional leaders on the House and Senate agriculture committees are working hard with the opposing sides of the issue to find a solution that will gain enough support so it moves through Congress as soon as possible. Proponents of mandatory labeling have little incentive to make any compromises because the Vermont law forces food companies to conform to the law in that area of the country.
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Luther Markwart, author of Dateline Washington, is executive vice president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association.