December, 12 2015

A Response To The New York Times

Re “Tell Consumers What They Are Eating” (editorial, Dec. 1)
The New York Times
Pam Bailey
December 12, 2015
To the Editor:

Just two years ago, you editorialized about genetically engineered products that “there seems little reason to make labeling compulsory.”

Since then, the Food and Drug Administration has consistently backed up that conclusion, rejecting a petition seeking mandatory labeling as recently as mid-November because of a lack of any scientific basis.

Unfortunately, your endorsement of allowing a state-by-state approach to labeling foods containing genetically modified ingredients is a recipe for consumer confusion and higher costs because of a patchwork of different state labeling mandates.

There’s no question that people want more information about products they buy, use and consume — and businesses are doing something about it. A new SmartLabel transparency initiative launched by food, beverage and consumer products companies puts detailed information at consumers’ fingertips.

This modern solution will give shoppers easy access to information on 350 quality traits ranging from allergens to cage-free, and this information will be accessible to shoppers via smartphones, a web search and company websites and at customer service desks.

Companies expect to disclose through SmartLabel whether food products do, may or do not contain G.M.O.s on more than 20,000 products by the end of 2017 — along with hundreds of other attributes in other products.

That’s a better way for consumers to get information than state labeling laws that vary depending on where they live or shop.

PAM BAILEY
President and Chief Executive
Grocery Manufacturers Association
Washington

About the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food

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.

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