A bewildering assortment of groups and individuals ranging from holistic healers and yoga studios to a pet cremation company sent a letter to U.S. Senators yesterday that relied on radical and discredited rhetoric and asked the Senate to support a patchwork of state food labeling laws that nearly all reasonable stakeholders agree would negatively impact farmers, small businesses and consumers.
The letter goes so far as to directly attack agricultural biotechnology, which virtually all members of the U.S. Senate, including Senator Debbie Stabenow, have defended as a safe, proven technology that America’s farmers rely on. Perhaps it is no surprise then that groups such as the Environmental Working Group and Just Label It are notably absent from the list of signers given the unserious and out of touch tenor of the letter.
This letter stands in stark contrast to one circulated by the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food that was signed by over 800 highly credible organizations from all 50 states representing the entirety of our nation’s food supply chain. That letter called on Congress to pass a reasonable legislative solution that informs consumers while protecting them from the costly and confusing patchwork anti-GMO extremists are attempting to force on the nation.
So much support from the farmers, food producers and scientific community that work to keep safe food affordable begs the question – is there really any doubt which groups the Senate should rely on to inform their decision on an urgently needed GMO labeling solution? There isn’t.
The fact is that both chambers of the U.S. Congress, as well as voters in multiple states every time they’ve been given the chance, have soundly rejected on-pack mandatory labeling. It is time for the Senate to tune out the extremists and get to work passing a bipartisan proposal that follows the established precedent of a national, uniform food labeling framework while giving consumers who want it access to more information without misleading other shoppers.
We are a broad-based coalition representing the entire American agriculture food supply chain – from farm to fork. We are committed to increasing the public’s understanding about the science and safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and advocating for science-based policies that keep food affordable for every American.