Representatives Mike Pompeo of Kansas and G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina have introduced the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act – which would create a national, science-based standard for the safety and labeling of food products containing genetically modified ingredients. The legislation is supported by a number of ag organizations – including the National Corn Growers Association and American Feed Industry Association. National Council of Farmer Cooperatives President and CEO Chuck Conner says this legislation is vital to giving farmers and consumers the certainty they deserve when it comes to labeling of food containing GMO ingredients – and at the same time would preserve choices in the marketplace for both groups. Conner says growers and farmer co-ops across the country have embraced biotechnology as a way to increase yields in an environmentally and economically sustainable way. He says this bill represents an important step in cutting through the misinformation about GMOs and focuses on the science attesting to their safety and the benefits these crops provide.
The American Soybean Association supports the bill – which ASA President Wade Cowan says would end confusion for consumers over which food products do not contain biotech ingredients. Cowan says establishing a national standard for non-GMO labels ensures all of the products without GMOs will have one simple, easy-to-understand label on them – and the consumer gets the information he or she is looking for. He says the bill also helps provide consumers with greater clarity by replacing state laws and regulations that can be at odds with one another with a clear national standard.
The American Farm Bureau Federation also applauds the introduction of this legislation – saying state-led mandatory food labeling initiatives mislead consumers about the safety of GM foods – even though there is no credible evidence linking a food safety or health risk to the consumption of GM foods. Creating a national labeling standard – according to AFBF President Bob Stallman – will give consumers the information they need while avoiding unnecessary confusion and added costs of a patchwork of state laws.Share