(Posted Tue. Mar 1st, 2016)
The National Corn Growers Association today thanked members of the Senate Agriculture Committee who voted to stand with farmers and move forward Sen. Pat Roberts’s bill to address the growing threat of a patchwork of state labeling laws and called for the full Senate to urgently take up this important legislation.
“We find the forward momentum building behind this bill encouraging, and we urge the Senate to quickly pass this bill for the good of America’s farmers and consumers,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling, a farmer from Maryland. “U.S. farmers rely on GMOs, a safe, proven technology, to protect our crops from insects, weeds and drought. The FDA should remain the party responsible for important food safety and labeling decisions based in science. Despite the scientific evidence, states such as Vermont are quickly moving toward costly, confusing mandatory labeling legislation pushed forth by agenda-driven activists. We ask the Senate to quickly move forward with this legislation 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.