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Farm Groups Urge Quick Resolution of GMO Issue

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U.S. farm organizations praised the action by the Senate on Wednesday and urged a quick final vote and resolution with the House. “The legislation is not perfect, but it does take critical steps to prevent a confusing 50-state patchwork of laws disclosing the presence of entirely harmless ingredients. It is time for the Senate to pass this legislation so the House can do likewise at its first opportunity,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling released the following statement in response to the Senate’s cloture vote: “Congress needs to act now to avoid the chaos in the marketplace that will result from having different labeling standards from one state to the next. Multiple studies have shown that the costs associated with Vermont’s GMO-labeling law, and a subsequent patchwork of state laws, will cost American families hundreds of dollars more in groceries each year – with low-income Americans being hit the hardest.”

American Soybean Association (ASA) President Richard Wilkins called on the Senate to finalize approval of the measure this week and provide certainty in the marketplace for the nation’s farmers and consumers: “We’re now six days into implementation of the Vermont law, and already we’ve seen more than 3,000 food products removed from shelves in Vermont. This drop in sales, coupled with the potential drop in sales due to consumer misperception of the misleading Vermont on-pack label, is already beginning to manifest itself in the marketplace. It’s clear that Congress must act quickly. We call on the Senate to pass the bill when it comes up for a vote later this week.”

Strong opposition remains, however, as anti-GMO forces vow to continue to fight against a national labeling standard. ”This bill is a travesty, an undemocratic and discriminatory bill which preempts state laws, while offering no meaningful labeling for GMOs,” said Friends of the Earth. “If accepted, Americans will remain in the dark about what we feed our families.”