Overnight Regulation

Overnight Regulation: Consumer groups launch push against Senate GMO bill

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It’s Monday evening here in Washington and we’re sad to hear the news that Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has breast cancer. We’re wishing her a speedy recovery.

Here’s a look at what else is happening.



Consumer advocates are urging lawmakers in the Senate to reject legislation that would preempt states from issuing their own mandatory labeling laws for foods containing genetically modified ingredients. 

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) unveiled a draft bill late last week that requires the Agriculture secretary to establish a national voluntary labeling standard for bioengineered, or GMO, foods.

Ahead of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee markup on Thursday, groups like Food & Water Watch are pushing lawmakers to oppose legislation they say lets big food profit by misleading consumers.

{mosads}”The vast majority of the public wants to know if the food they buy contains GMO ingredients,” Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter said in a statement. “It’s time for Congress to create a mandatory on-package labeling requirement so people can decide for themselves whether they want to eat a food that has been produced using genetic engineering.”

Proponents of the bill, however, say a national food labeling solution is needed to keep mandatory labeling laws in states like Vermont, which takes effect July 1, from driving up food prices.

A study released Monday by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) found that Vermont’s law could increase the price of groceries by nearly $1,050 annually.

Consumer groups quickly slammed the industry-funded study.

“The food industry is once again attempting to scare consumers and legislators in order to get their way,” Andrew Kimbrell, executive director at Center for Food Safety, said in a statement. “Campbell’s Soup has announced it will label all of its GE products at no added cost to the consumer. If a company like Campbell’s can take this step to label their food accurately, then there is no reason the rest of the industry can’t follow suit.”

The legislation in the Senate is similar to the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 that passed the House in June.



–Shaun Donovan, director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which oversees all regulations coming from the federal government, will testify Tuesday about the agency’s budget before a House Appropriations subcommittee. http://1.usa.gov/1Ww9JJO



The Obama administration will publish 239 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Tuesday’s edition of the Federal Register.

–The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will review lawn mower safety standards.

The CPSC is issuing an information collection request as it considers whether changes are necessary for existing safety standards on push lawn mowers.

The public has 30 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1LD1UfF

 –The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will consider new protections for certain manta rays. 

The NMFS will conduct a status review to determine whether giant manta rays and reef manta rays are endangered. The agency is also considering designating a critical habitat for these sea-dwelling creatures.

The review stems from a petition for rulemaking by the Defenders of Wildlife. After an initial review, the NMFS determined the protections “may be warranted.”

 The public has 60 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1oy88bp

–The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will consider whether to weaken protections for certain endangered dolphins.

The NMFS will conduct a status review of Indus River dolphins. Based on the information in finds, the agency could potentially delist these dolphins or downgrade their status to threatened. It could also leave the current protections in place.

The Indus River dolphin was listed as endangered in 1991. The NMFS regularly reviews this status to make sure the protections are up-to-date and determine whether they are still needed.

The public has 90 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1TBbFm9



Rays may be endangered, feds say http://bit.ly/1TvVjKs

Health officials petition FDA for warning labels on painkillers http://bit.ly/1VAdn5e

Obama works the phones on Scalia replacement http://bit.ly/1T2pnii

Biden in 1992: Delay SCOTUS nominee until after election http://bit.ly/1UiVBFd

Supreme Court hears first case without Scalia http://bit.ly/1oYMQUX

Top OPM official resigns under pressure http://bit.ly/21aP9Fw

Pentagon poised to send plan for closing Guantanamo Bay http://bit.ly/1Uj1wKl

Dems storm Flint amid water crisis http://bit.ly/1Rjp1jJ

Expert estimates Flint has over 8,000 lead water-service lines – The Wall Street Journal http://on.wsj.com/1QWmlWG



22,767: How many people died of overdose deaths in 2013.

44: How many people in the U.S. die every day from overdose deaths.

1 in 3: How many unintentional overdose deaths from prescription opioids also involve benzodiazepines.



“It is my view that if a Supreme Court Justice resigns tomorrow or within the next several weeks or resigns at the end of the summer, President [George H.W.] Bush should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not, and not name a nominee until after the November election is completed,” — then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) speaking in 1992.


We’ll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill’s Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and @wheelerlydia.

Click here to sign up for the newsletter: http://bit.ly/1pc6tau 

Tags Claire McCaskill Joe Biden Pat Roberts Shaun Donovan
See all Hill.TV See all Video