Posted February 11, 2014
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) announced the creation of its 29-member “Coalition for Safe Affordable Food,” to help in its effort to create a federal labeling law for genetically modified (GMO) foods, according to a Politico article available here.
The “Coalition for Safe Affordable Food” includes the GMA, the American Bakers Association, American Beverage Association, American Frozen Food Institute, National Corn Growers Association, the Biotechnology Industry Association, and others.
The Coalition is advocating for legislation that would require “mandatory premarket approval of GMO food ingredients by FDA and grant authority to the agency to label products that raise safety concerns, set up a voluntary program for food companies to label foods that are GMO free, include GMO ingredients in a definition of “natural” foods and preempt state labeling laws.
Chuck Conner, president of the National Council of Farm Cooperatives, said recent state action on GMO labeling played a significant role in the coalition’s action. GMO labeling initiatives were narrowly defeated in Washington and California recently. Other states have GMO labeling laws that will only take effect if surrounding states enact similar legislation.
“If every state had a different requirement for [GMOs], our farmers just couldn’t adapt to that,” said Ray Gaesser, president of the American Soybean Association.
Jason Rano, director of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, says the industry’s proposal of a voluntary federal standard for labeling will not clarify the confusion around GMOs for consumers, according to an article by NPR available here.
“What we really need is for the FDA to require labeling of genetically engineered foods and ingredients, so that consumers can understand the universe and make informed choices. We need to provide consumers with the information we know they crave.”
For more information on food labeling, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.