Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, in overwhelming and bipartisan fashion. The nation’s corn, soybean and wheat organizations along with others immediately released statements of support for the move by the House and also encouraged Senate passage when they take up their version.
Indiana Farm Bureau’s Kyle Cline told HAT H.R. 1599 is a very important effort, “first and foremost because it will preempt individual states from enacting their own GMO labeling regulatory schemes and laws which is not good for anyone. It’s not good for the farmer. It’s not good for the consumer. In fact Cornell University recently published a study that was talking about the various mandatory labeling in kind of a patchwork across the United States and it would raise food costs for the average family about $500 per year. So it’s good for consumers’ pocketbooks. It will keep food costs down and it will ensure the availability of biotechnology which is so critical to farmers’ success currently and into the future.”
He said the bill accomplishes a national framework for voluntary labeling. Additionally, “It’s science based and it will leave the oversight and regulatory decisions to the FDA which is our nation’s foremost food safety authority and has been for many years.”
And according to IFB the Food and Drug Administration, American Medical Association, National Academy of Sciences and World Health Organization have all confirmed that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are as safe for human consumption as their non-GMO counterparts.
Indiana Congressman Todd Rokita (IN-04) co-sponsored the bill and said in a statement, “We must strike a balance between government regulation of the private sector and consumer protections for the health and safety of all Americans. Nothing prohibits organic and non-GMO food companies from advertising said facts so that consumers can be fully informed.
“I have heard from Hoosier food producers and farmers who are concerned that conflicting labeling food standards across states are driving up production costs. This is why a single federal standard is necessary to promote interstate commerce and protect Hoosier jobs.”
Indiana Farm Bureau president Don Villwock released a statement thanking Rokita and others.
“Indiana Farm Bureau thanks those in our congressional delegation who looked past the activist rhetoric and voted in favor of a fair and common sense approach to food labeling: Reps. Walorski, Stutzman, Rokita, Brooks, Messer, Bucshon and Young. We especially thank Reps. Rokita and Messer for embracing this issue early on and helping to shepherd it through the process to this point. We encourage both Senator Coats and Senator Donnelly to support the Senate version of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act when it reaches their chamber in September.”