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BIO Statement on Failure to Stop Patchwork of State GMO Labeling Laws

The U.S. Senate was unable to advance a national solution to GMO food labeling.  It is essential for Senate leaders to continue working to reach a much-needed compromise over the coming days, as failure to move forward allows costly and confusing state-based measures such as Vermont’s GMO food labeling law to take effect in July.

Washington, D.C. (March 16, 2016) – The U.S. Senate was unable to advance a national solution to GMO food labeling.  It is essential for Senate leaders to continue working to reach a much-needed compromise over the coming days, as failure to move forward allows costly and confusing state-based measures such as Vermont’s GMO food labeling law to take effect in July.   

Brian Baenig, Executive Vice President for Food & Agriculture for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), issued the following statement in response:

"We want to thank Senate leaders – especially Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) – for supporting legislation which would significantly increase the amount of GMO food disclosure available to consumers.  

“While we are disappointed 60 Senators could not yet reach an agreement on this bill, BIO will continue to work with Senate leaders to find a bipartisan solution to the GMO food labeling issue in a way that meets consumers’ needs, protects farmers’ rights and promotes the use of biotechnology to help feed the world. 

“Consumers should have access to information about how our food is grown, but that information needs to be conveyed in an accurate and fact-based way.  When labels are mandated to promote one product over another and exempt broad categories of food groups – as the Vermont law does – consumers are confused, not informed.

“Modern farming and biotechnology has enabled farmers to grow more food on less land with fewer pesticide applications, less water and reduced fuel use.  The Vermont food labeling law vilifies a safe and beneficial technology that has revolutionized agriculture and made food more affordable.

“Regardless of the political landscape, we will continue to urge the public to seek information about technology and food production through the GMO Answers website and other value chain resources.” 

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.  

    About BIO
    BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.