Richard Ha writes:
This is very interesting. The Safe & Accurate Food Labeling Act was just introduced, which would establish a federal labeling standard for food and beverage products made with genetically modified ingredients GMOs).
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) just issued a very positive response to this federal labeling standard, as did the American Farm Bureau Federation. I'm including both below, and I agree completely with both of them.
Both praise the new act and agree that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should be the entity to govern this policy, as opposed to a patchwork of state and local laws throughout the country. It's the FDA that has the expertise: the people, the labs, the backing of all the major science organizations. The FDA is the organization that monitors for food safety.
This is exactly the kind of thing we've been talking about on the Department of Agriculture’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry advisory committee.
I am very glad to see we are all in agreement.
March 25, 2015
GMA Praises Introduction of National Food Labeling Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, issued the following statement in response to the introduction today of The Safe & Accurate Food Labeling Act by U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) to establish a federal labeling standard for food and beverage products made with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs):
“No matter where they live or shop, all Americans deserve to have access to consistent, understandable information about the food they are eating, and this federal legislation would eliminate consumer uncertainty created by a state-by-state patchwork of labeling laws, advance food safety, inform consumers and provide consistency in labeling.
“The entire purpose of food labeling is to provide consumers throughout our nation with clear and consistent information. Congress must pass a bipartisan bill this year to ensure Americans continue to have access to consistent FDA-approved and science-based standards for food labeling.
“It’s important to know that this technology has been around for the past 20 years, and today, 70-80 percent of the foods we eat in the United States contain ingredients that have been genetically modified.
“The overwhelming scientific consensus is that GMO ingredients are as safe as any other food. The Food and Drug Administration and major scientific and health organizations such as the American Medical Association, National Academy of Sciences and World Health Organization all have found GMOs are safe for humans and positive for the environment. More than 2,000 studies show a clear consensus among the world’s leading scientific organizations that GMO ingredients are safe.
“A single federal labeling standard for non-GMO and GMOs that is based on science would ensure that America’s farmers and food manufacturers work under a uniform standard across all 50 states and that consumers receive uniform, consistent information on GMOs. The alternative – a patchwork of state and local food laws across the country with different labeling mandates and requirements – will create confusion, cause significant new costs for Americans, and lead to critical problems for our nation’s grocery supply chain.
“A federal law is needed that keeps the authority to set safe, reasonable and national labeling requirements regarding GMOs with U.S. government agencies that have decades of scientific and regulatory expertise in this area. The Grocery Manufacturers Association strongly supports this legislation, and urges the House and Senate to adopt this national standard for science-based food labeling.”
Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe.
Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day. The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders.
In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year.
Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 25, 2015 – “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. These state labeling initiatives mask the benefits of biotechnology in food production and can lead to decreased food supplies. Creating a national labeling standard will give consumers the information they need while avoiding the unnecessary confusion and added cost of a patchwork of state laws.
“The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 would clarify the FDA as the nation’s foremost authority on food safety and create a voluntary labeling program run by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, the same agency that administers the USDA Organic Program. We applaud the bipartisan leadership of Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) in reintroducing this bill.
“Consumers have a right to know what’s in their food, but they shouldn’t be misinformed about what’s safe, or forced to pay higher prices unnecessarily. Thanks to innovation, farmers and ranchers have new and improved methods to increase their efficiency while preserving farm land for generations to come. Farmers benefit from choice and so should consumers.”