July, 10 2014

Anti-GMO Groups, Rep. DeFazio Ignore Scientific Consensus on GMOs, Lead Efforts to Eliminate Biotechnology from Agriculture

(Washington, D.C.)—Today, an increasingly discredited coalition of anti-GMO groups, led by Just Label It and the Environmental Working Group, went to Capitol Hill to join Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) in their misguided push for mandatory GMO labeling laws. Studies have found mandatory labeling laws will raise food costs for America’s families in the checkout aisle, impose unnecessary burdens on farmers and food producers and ultimately eliminate biotechnology from American agriculture.

“Mandatory labeling efforts mislead consumers about GMOs, which are perfectly safe, and represent a thinly veiled effort to remove modern biotechnology from American agriculture,” said Claire Parker, spokeswoman for the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food. “While mandatory labeling proponents say their movement is about consumer choice, the reality is that consumers already have those choices today and GMOs are among the most important tools that allow farmers and food producers to provide safe and affordable food choices to America’s families.”

Mandatory GMO labeling legislation backed by these anti-GMO groups and sponsored by DeFazio would needlessly impose higher costs and fewer choices on the families who can afford it the least. A recent study by economists at Cornell University estimated that additional costs to consumers could reach, on average, $500 per family per year, with some families bearing an increased cost of $1,500 per year. And because low-income families and seniors 65 or older spend a disproportionately large percentage of their incomes on food costs, higher food prices from mandatory labeling would impact them the most, according to a study by the Council for Agriculture Science and Technology.

The emerging consensus among America’s editorial boards, including DeFazio’s hometown paper, the Oregonian, is that responsible legislators should oppose efforts by anti-GMO groups to enact mandatory labeling laws, specifically when taking into consideration the harm caused when food labeling laws are based on ideology instead of science:

From the editorial board of The Oregonian, Peter DeFazio’s home paper:
“Mandatory food labels should display nutritionally relevant information, not ideology.”
Read more here.

The Washington Post: Genetically Modified Crops Could Help Improve the Lives of Millions

The Los Angeles Times: Base food labeling on fact, not fear

The New York Times: here.

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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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