Emory Law Journal


Congress hastily crafted the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (¿GE labeling law¿ or Act), which it passed in July of 2016, to preempt various state laws that were cropping up around the country seeking to label genetically engineered ingredients (GEs). This Comment anticipates that the Act will face free speech challenges that may find the GE labeling law unconstitutional, especially following recent trends in First Amendment jurisprudence that have been increasingly applying stricter scrutiny upon constitutional review. Due to inconsistent applications of the two governing tests that review compelled commercial speech¿the Central Hudson and Zauderer standards, respectively¿this Comment suggests that the Supreme Court, in the context of the GE labeling law, determine the appropriate scrutiny level that courts should apply when reviewing First Amendment cases involving compelled commercial speech. This Comment finds that the GE labeling law will not likely withstand scrutiny under Central Hudson, but should survive less stringent review under Zauderer.