Representatives Mike Pompeo of Kansas and G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina introduced the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act last week. The legislation would clarify the Food and Drug Administration has the authority on the use and labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients.
One of those supporting the act is Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Villwock who told HAT it would eliminate a logistical nightmare for food companies by avoiding a patchwork quilt, state by state approach.
“With FDA involved I do think that brings more certainty to the scientific debate about GMO’s. I think it’s important that a well respected institution clarifies what the issues truly are and really gives certainty to the market of what labeling requirements are needed so consumers can make the choice. We in agriculture are really about choice.”
After decades of use and research, Villwock says it’s clear that biotechnology in food is safe.
“It’s probably one of the most studied food issues in our lifetimes and one that all of science continually points to being a safe product for consumers that actually does good things for the environment and lowers the cost for those that really can’t afford to pay for higher priced foods.”
Kansas Farm Bureau member and farmer Stacey Forshee (pictured with Pompeo) traveled to Washington for the introduction of the bill. Forshee says biotechnology is a great tool for farmers and the environment, and she believes this legislation will create an important conversation with consumers on a national level.
“The introduction of this bill will hopefully help people understand GMOs have been proven to be safe. There’s not been a study yet that has proven that any different.
Eighty percent of the foods on the grocery store shelves are already made from products that have GMO in them. I believe that with the extra testing that those foods would have to go through, that they would rest assured that it is 100 percent safe.
The American Farm Bureau Federation believes affirming FDA’s role will assure consumers about GMO safety.