The National Corn Growers Association today applauded Sen. Pat Roberts for his introduction of a bill to address the growing threat of a patchwork of state labeling laws and called for the urgent passage of this important legislation.
“The introduction of Roberts’s proposal is an important first step to restoring sanity to America’s food labeling laws,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling, a farmer from Maryland. “GMOs are perfectly safe and America’s farmers rely on this proven technology to protect our crops from insects, weeds and drought. Important food safety and labeling decisions should be made by the scientists and qualified policymakers at the FDA, not political activists and campaigns. Yet, despite the scientific evidence, states such as Vermont are quickly moving toward costly, confusing mandatory labeling legislation. It is imperative that the Senate takes up this issue quickly to avoid a situation in which all American consumers pay a high price and gain little actual information.”
Vermont’s mandatory law requiring on-package labels of foods containing ingredients that have been genetically modified takes effect in July, and unless Congress acts swiftly, families, farmers and food companies will face chaos in the market and higher costs. Multiple studies have shown that the associated costs with Vermont’s GMO-labeling law and a subsequent patchwork of state laws will cost American families hundreds of dollars more in groceries each year – with low-income Americans being hit the hardest.
Roberts’s proposal brings continuity to the marketplace, ensuring that consumers have the access to product information they deserve without stigmatizing this safe, proven technology valued by American farmers. The bill, which will go through a markup by the Senate Committee on Agriculture next Thursday, will provide a national framework that places standards in the hands of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and creates a campaign that will educate the public on both the safety of GMOs and on the way in which they can find out more about the foods they purchase.
NCGA, working with partners across the value chain, has pushed for a solution to this issue for more than two years now as a member of the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food.
For more information on the need for a federal labeling standard, visit the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, at www.CFSAF.org.