As Illinois debates a Genetically Modified Labeling bill in the General Assembly, a solution that both allows Americans to better understand what is in the food they are buying and is based on the best available science was proposed federally.
Last week, Representative Pompeo (R-KS) and Representative Butterfield (D-NC) introduced the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act in the House. This bill would establish a new, single federal framework for regulating the use and labeling of GM technology and is the legislation supported by the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food of which National Corn Growers Association is a member.
Specifically, H.R. 4432 would:
- Address questions consumers have about the safety of foods derived from GMOs by requiring the FDA to conduct a mandatory safety review of all new GMO traits before they are introduced into commerce. It would also make clear that FDA will mandate the labeling of any food derived from GMOs that presents a safety or health risk or is compositionally different than its non-GMO food counterpart.
- Help consumers make sense of GMO labeling claims and their choices in the marketplace by asking the FDA to establish federal standards for companies that want to voluntarily label their product for the absence-of or presence-of GMO food ingredients.
- Improve food labels using the term “natural” by requiring FDA to define the term for its use on food and beverage products, thus creating a consistent legal framework that will guide food labels and inform consumer choice.
- Address the confusion and uncertainty created by a 50-state patchwork of GMO safety and labeling laws, while affirming the FDA is the nation’s authority on food safety and labeling matters. Given this new legal framework, states would be precluded from imposing any requirements that are not identical to these Federal requirements.
For more information on this topic to offer to friends and family that might be on the fence about GMOs, check out:
- www.cfsaf.org – the farm-to-fork coalition website
- www.gmoanswers.com – a place to ask anything about GMOs. Some offices have placed a link to this website in their constituent letters.
- www.factsaboutGMOs.org – a place to gain access to key news stories highlighting the value of biotechnology to the food industry.
- http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm352067.htm - FDA’s role in regulating GMOs.
- http://www.aaas.org/news/aaas-board-directors-legally-mandating-gm-food-labels-could-%E2%80%9Cmislead-and-falsely-alarm – statement by the American Association for the Advancement of Science regarding mandatory GMO labeling.