GMO labeling background information

In 2013, 95 bills related to the labeling of GMO foods were introduced in 28 states. 


Click here to download our digital guide, GMOs: What you need to know. 


  • Passage of laws in Massachusetts, Vermont and New Jersey in the next year is “promising.”
  • The legislatures in Maine, Pennsylvania and New York are considering labeling bills this year. Voters in Washington State expected to vote on the issue in a November ballot initiative. More Here
  • Senate Appropriations Committee voted in June to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration funding to label genetically modified salmon if the agency approves the fish. More Here

State-by-state updates 

Alaska

HJR-5

  • About: Opposes genetically engineered salmon
  • Status: Passed the House and the Senate in May 2013. Waiting to be signed into law.   
  • More Here

Arizona

SB 1180

  • About:Would consider any food misbranded if it is entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering
  • Status:Currently the bill has yet to find a co-sponsor and is not considered viable for 2013 legislative session.
  • More Here

Colorado

HB 1192

  • About: The bill requires food with more than 1% genetically engineered material to be labeled.
  • Status: The bill was postponed indefinitely on February 24, 2013.
  • More Here

Connecticut

HB 6527

  • About: Requires any infant formula or baby food sold or intended for sale in the state of Connecticut to include clear and conspicuous labeling if the infant formula or baby food contains any genetically engineered materials.
  • Status: Signed into law by Governor Malloy on June 25, 2013 making Connecticut the first State to have a law requiring GMO labeling.
  • Caveats: For the legislation to take effect, four states (including one state which borders Connecticut) must pass a similar bill. In addition, any combination of northeastern states with a combined population of at least 20 million people must approve similar legislation.
  • More Here

Florida

HB 1233

  • About:Requires mandatory labeling for genetically engineered foods and raw agricultural commodities.
  • Status: The bill died on May 3, 2013 in the agricultural and natural resources subcommittee.
  • More Here

Hawaii

HB 174

  • About:Requires specific labeling for any food or agricultural commodity sold in Hawaii that contains any genetically modified material.
  • Status:  Deferred by all committees
  • More Here

Illinois

SB 1666

  • About:Introduced to the Illinois General Assembly to require mandatory labeling for genetically engineered foods.
  • Status:The Bill continues to accumulate co-sponsors and has been recently refilled to assignments.
  • More Here

Indiana

HB 1196

  • About: Introduced to the House requires mandatory labeling of all genetically modified material with food considered misbranded if not clearly stated.
  • Status: On January 10, 2013 HB 1196 was introduced to the Indiana House of Representatives to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods by July 1, 2014. Referred to Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.
  • More Here

Iowa

SF 194

  • About:Introduced on February 13, 2013, requiring consumer labeling information for food, providing penalties, and including effective date provisions.
  • Status: Companion bill, HF463 was introduced to the house. Currently has 9 sponsors. 
  • More Here

Maine

LD 718

  • About:On February 28, “An Act to Protect Maine Food Consumers Right to Know about Genetically Engineered Food and Seed Stock” was passed by the house.
  • Status:On June 12, the senate unanimously supported the Bill and it is now awaiting signature from the Governor. 
  • More Here

Maryland

HB 0903

  • About:Introduced 3 labeling bills in the past two years. HB0903 requires that specified foods offered for retail and produced with genetically engineered materials are labeled
  • Status: On February 26, 2013 the bill was withdrawn 
  • More Here

Massachusetts

H. 8103

  • About:  “An Act Relative to the Labeling of Seed” 
  • Status: Concurred by the Senate and is awaiting a hearing. Five GMO labeling bills pending and are being referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health
  • More Here

Minnesota

SF821

  • About:Proposed on February 28, 2013 SF821, requiring mandatory labeling of all GMO food
  • Status:Was referred to the Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development committee. A companion bill HF 850, requiring the labeling of all genetically modified seeds and food was also proposed. The bill is currently awaiting a hearing.
  • More Here

Missouri

SB 155 & HB 245

  • About:Proposed on January 30, 2013 and February 14, 2013 respectively, SB 155 would require the labeling of all genetically modified meat and fish.  HB 245 would require mandatory labeling of all GMO food
  • Status:The Bills were both withdrawn
  • More Here

New Hampshire

HB 660

  • About:On January 3, 2013 HB 660, “Requiring Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods & Agricultural Commodities” states that any human or animal food offered for retail sale in this state shall be deemed misbranded if not properly labeled as a genetically engineered food.
  • Status:On February 28, the bill was retained by the House Agriculture Committee and a final recommendation by the house will be made this fall.
  • More Here

New Jersey

A-3192 & S-1367

  • About:  Requiring the labeling of all genetically modified material
  • Status:Transferred to Health and Senior Services Committee. On June 17, the bills underwent a 2nd reading in the assembly.
  • More Here

New Mexico                                          

SB, 18

  • About:On January 18, 2013, bill requires the labeling of genetically modified food
  • Status:On January 31, the bill died on the floor
  • More Here

New York

A03525

  • About: Required labeling of genetically modified foods
  • Status:One June 5, 2013 the New York State Assembly rejected the bill
  • More Here

North Carolina

HB466

  • About: North Carolina House Bill H466 would require labeling genetically modified milk and food subjected to recombinant bovine growth hormone
  • Status: On March 24 it was referred to the committee on agriculture
  • More Here

Oregon

Five Bills have been filed in total

  • HB2175 & HB2532
  • About:  HB2175 and HB2532 require labeling, as well as require food subjected to misbranding if not labeled as GMO. 
  • Status: Bill was referred to agriculture committee in May 2013.
  • HB2736
    • About:Exempts farmer from liability for inadvertent acquisition or use of genetically engineered plant or plant seeds
    • Status:Referred to Rules, and then Ways and Means without recommendation as to passage.
  • HB3177
    • About:Requires signage in area where genetically engineered fish are sold, displayed for sale or offered for sale at retail for human consumption.
    • Status:Public hearing held on March 21, 2013.
  • HB3293
    • About: Requires commercial producers of genetically modified material to make it clear to suppliers.
    • Status: Referred to Agriculture and Natural Resources on March 4.
  • More Here

Pennsylvania

SB653

  • About: On March 11, 2013 SB654, requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods was introduced to the senate.
  • Status: Referred to Agriculture and Rural Affairs
  • More Here

Rhode Island

HB 578

  • About:Requiring labeling of genetically modified food was introduced to the Senate.
  • Status:On April 24, 2013 the committee recommended measure be held for further study

Tennessee

SB. 894 & HB 1168

  • About: “Genetically Engineered Food Labeling Act of 2013,” to require the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food. HB 1168 was assigned to agricultural and natural resources committee.
  • Status: Both bills were deferred by Agricultural and Natural Resources to 2014.

Vermont

HB 112

  • About:Presented on May 10, 2013, labeling of genetically engineered foods
  • Status:Passed by the lower house with a vote of 99-42. The Senate will review the bill in 2014.
  • Caveats:If passes, it will take effect in July 2015 or 18 months after two similar states pass similar legislation.
  • More Here

Washington

I-522

  • About:“The People’s Right To Know Genetically Engineered Food Act” could qualify for the November ballot. The initiative if passed would require labeling on all genetically engineered products.
  • Status:Introduced to the legislature by special status. On May 13, the Bill was retained and remains in the House.
  • More Here