Still Fighting for GMO Transparency: What’s behind the legal challenge to USDA’s “Bioengineering” labeling rule

Time: Thursday, OCT 22nd - 1:30 - 1:55 PM

Location: SESSION 1

Speaker(s): Aimee Simpson - J.D., Director of Advocacy & Product Sustainability, PCC Community Markets; George Kimbrell - Legal Director, Center For Food Safety


Please join us for an informative session learning what’s behind the legal challenge to USDA’s “Bioengineering” labeling rule. After all these years, we still fighting for GMO transparency.

In July of this year, the Center for Food Safety (CFS), along with PCC Community Markets, Good Earth Natural Foods, Natural Grocers, and others, have filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Trump Administration’s Department of Agriculture (USDA) challenging USDA’s rules on labeling genetically engineered (GE) or GMO foods, which USDA now calls “bioengineered foods.”

The final regulations, issued in 2019, include provisions which will leave the majority of GMO-derived foods unlabeled; discriminate against tens of millions of Americans; prohibit the use of the widely known terms “GMO” and “GE”; and prohibit retailers from providing more information to consumers. CFS is representing a coalition of food labeling nonprofits and retailers, including PCC  Community Co-op, the nation’s largest community-owned food market.

“This case is about ensuring meaningful food labeling, the public’s right to know how their food is produced, and retailers’ rights to provide it to them,” said George Kimbrell, CFS legal director, and counsel in the case. “The American public successfully won GE food labeling after more than a two-decade fight, but the Trump rules fall far short of what consumers reasonably expect and the law requires.”

Become better educated with this workshop, which will clarify for participants what the lawsuit against the USDA means to the food industry and consumers.


Aimee Simpson – Amy is the Director of Advocacy & Product Sustainability for PCC Community Markets. An attorney by trade and environmentalist at heart, she has cultivated over a decade of legal and policy expertise on a wide range of food, environmental, health, and consumer protection issues.

Aimee has previously worked as an Independent Counsel for Consumer Reports and Center for Food Safety, a Policy Director and Staff Attorney for Beyond Pesticides, a Policy Analyst for the Center for Progressive Reform, and an Associate Litigator for the Washington, D.C. law firm of Schertler & Onorato.George


George Kimbrell – George  is CFS’s Legal Director, overseeing all of the Center’s legal work as well as running the CFS Pacific Northwest office in Portland. CFS is a public interest nonprofit dedicated to protecting food, farmers, and the environment, with nearly a million members nationwide. George’s legal, legislative, and policy work runs the gamut of many CFS program areas, including pesticides, genetically engineered organisms, factory farms, food labeling, foodborne illness, organic standards, and aquaculture.

Among other landmark cases, George was counsel in the first U.S. Supreme Court case on the regulation of genetically engineered crops. He received his law degree magna cum laude from Lewis and Clark Law School, where he now teaches food and agriculture law as an adjunct professor.