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BIO/Coalition for Safe, Affordable Food letter for Senate and House Ag Committee leadership in support of biotech education provision

September 20, 2018

September 14, 2018

The Honorable Pat Roberts                                                                                              The Honorable Debbie Stabenow
Chairman                                                                                                                          Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Agriculture,                                                                                   Senate Committee on Agriculture,
Nutrition, and Forestry                                                                                                     Nutrition, and Forestry
328A Russell Senate Office Building                                                                              328A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510                                                                                                    Washington, DC 20510


The Honorable K. Michael Conaway                                                                             The Honorable Collin C. Peterson
Chairman                                                                                                                         Ranking Member
1301 Longworth House Office Building                                                                        1305 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515                                                                                                   Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Roberts, Chairman Conaway, Ranking Member Stabenow, and Ranking Member Peterson:

As representatives of the U.S. food and agricultural value chain and members of the Coalition for Safe, Affordable Food (the Coalition), we write to express our support for Section 7608 in the House-passed H.R. 2, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, regarding public education on agricultural biotechnology. We believe these provisions will support the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other relevant federal agencies in providing consumers with education materials on the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law (NBFDL) and its implementing regulations – the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS). Such education materials can assist in explaining how the NBFDS provides consumers with information on the ingredients of the foods they eat, one overriding purpose of the NBFDL.

As you are aware, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is in the process of finalizing the NBFDS. AMS issued a proposed rule on May 3, 2018, for which the Coalition submitted comments on July 3, 2018. Those comments contain a recommendation that USDA conduct an educational campaign to help ensure that consumers possess a reasonable understanding of the various disclosure options, including what they mean with respect to whether a product is produced with bioengineered ingredients. Given the significant investment of time and resources dedicated by Congress and USDA to developing the NBFDL and NBFDS, an effort that carefully balances the needs of consumers, farmers, retailers, exporters, and other stakeholders, we believe Congress should encourage and support USDA’s diligent effort to develop a consumer education campaign that will make the NBFDS as useful for consumers as possible. The Coalition believes the provisions contained in Section 7608 or H.R. 2 reinforce Congress’s desire that the Administration take a proactive role in providing these educational resources.

Thank you for your attention to this important issue, and we look forward to working with you in the coming weeks to successfully enact a long-term Farm Bill that supports implementation of the NBFDL and a final NBFDS in a way that will meet the needs of consumers and our entire food and agricultural value chain.

Agricultural Retailers Association
American Bakers Association
American Beverage Association
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Seed Trade Association
American Soybean Association
American Sugarbeet Growers Association
Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Calorie Control Council
Corn Refiners Association
Food Marketing Institute
Grocery Manufacturers Association
International Food Additives Council
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Grain and Feed Association
National Milk Producers Federation
National Potato Council
National Renderers Association
North American Millers Association
SNAC International
U.S. Canola Association

Download Full Comments Below
Biotech Education Coalition Letter
Download Full Comments Below
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