BIO Applauds Senate GMO Labeling Bill
Washington, D.C. (February 19, 2016) – The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) applauds the proposal of food labeling legislation that will give consumers fact-based information without the added costs and confusion of differing state laws.
The bill, posted this afternoon by Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), would establish a national standard for the safety and labeling of foods made with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) and develop an accompanying public education campaign.
“We are grateful to Chairman Roberts for his leadership towards advancing a common-sense solution to the GMO food labeling issue that protects our nation’s farmers, consumers, grocers and small businesses,” said Brian Baenig, BIO’s Executive Vice President of Food & Agriculture.
This legislation is especially timely as farmers and food producers will be forced to comply with the costly and confusing requirements of Vermont’s GMO labeling law in July.
“Increased costs associated with this law may force companies to have to segregate their products, facilities, etc. in order to remain in the Vermont market,” said Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack in recent testimony before the House Appropriations Committee. “I think we can deal with this by respecting the safety of GMOs while addressing the consumer’s right to know.”
“We want consumers to know more about food and farming, but that information needs to be truthful and conveyed in a way that doesn’t stigmatize beneficial farming methods such as biotechnology,” said Baenig. “Tools such as the SmartLabel, QR codes, 1-800 numbers and other educational resources can deliver an abundance of information about food ingredients, nutrition, allergens, product usage, brand information and more.”
“Farmers and growers have embraced biotechnology as a way to produce more food on less land in an environmentally sustainable way,” continued Baenig. “This bill supports farmer choice and the use of technology while providing consumers with useful information about the foods they buy and serve their families. We look forward to working with Congress to move this bill forward in the coming weeks.”
BIO is a member of The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, which is dedicated to providing policy makers, media, consumers and all stakeholders with the facts about ingredients grown through GM technology. We are a farm-to-fork group of more than forty organizations advocating for common sense policy solutions that will only further enhance the safety of the GM crops and protect the vital role they play in today’s modern global food supply chain.
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