Hundreds of food industry groups call for congress to pass labeling act
Four hundred and seventy-five groups from all 50 states spanning the entirety of the American food supply chain sent a letter to the US House of Representatives urging members to vote in favor of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.
The groups, representing the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, ask Congress to support the bill which would create a federal law on GMO labeling, establishing a national, uniform standard label that will preempt state laws such as the one in Vermont.
“The support behind this bill speaks for itself. Hundreds of organizations around the country are rallying their supporters to action to help pass the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” said Claire Parker, spokesperson for the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food. “This bipartisan bill is close to passing the House because lawmakers are standing up for science, common sense and consumer choice and the letter is a clear sign that support behind the bill is broad based and growing. We’re looking forward to this week’s vote.”
The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, introduced in March by Congressmen Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), has attracted 106 cosponsors, including 15 Democrats. According to the Coalition, the standard the bill would create will not only inform consumers, but prevent confusion from a patchwork of state labeling laws. Additionally, the bill establishes a national GMO-free certification process that gives consumers who choose to purchase non-GMO foods the ability to do so, bringing consistency to an area of the marketplace where it is currently lacking, according to the Coalition.
“By putting a stop to the patchwork of state-based labeling requirements, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act will protect consumers from unpredictable price variations and protect farmers and food manufacturers from having to contend with inconsistent and costly regulations,” the letter stated. “H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act will give consumers, farmers, and small businesses certainty. The proposed legislation also would improve clarity for foods carrying a GMO-free label and provide uniform rules by creating a national certification program for foods that have been produced without bioengineering.”
The letter can be found here.