For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON – The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food (CFSAF) released the following statement to highlight today’s critical hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health regarding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s role in regulating genetically modified food organisms (GMOs) and the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, authored by Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC).
“Imposing mandatory labeling laws on a state-by-state basis does nothing but mislead consumers, drive up grocery prices and lead to massive disruptions to interstate commerce,” said Claire Parker, spokeswoman for the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food. “Today’s hearing is an important step toward ensuring that food labeling decisions are made by scientific experts.”
Following costly, mandatory-labeling ballot initiatives that were recently voted down in Oregon, Colorado and Washington State, CFSAF believes now is the time for Congress to adopt a national, consistent, labeling standard that protects consumers, famers and food manufacturers.
CFSAF supports the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which would eliminate consumer confusion created by a state-by-state patchwork of labeling laws, advance food safety, inform consumers and provide consistency in labeling. The legislation reaffirms the FDA as America’s preeminent authority on food safety and labeling requirements; requires the FDA to approve all new GMO ingredients before they are brought to market; and establishes federal standards for companies that wish to voluntarily label their products for the absence-of or presence-of GMO food ingredients.
“Today’s hearing makes clear that Congress is taking this issue very seriously,” Parker said. “Representatives Pompeo and Butterfield are to be commended for advancing a bipartisan solution that will ensure consumers’ grocery prices are not increased by unnecessary government red tape.,” Parker continued. “Consumers deserve consistent, clear labeling guidelines no matter where they are in the United States—not misinformation, loopholes and inconsistencies.”
Studies have shown that mandated GMO labeling would increase grocery prices for consumers by hundreds of dollars per year as food companies construct multiple supply streams, design new labels, acquire additional warehouse space and create new transportation routes. A recent study by Cornell University found that GMO labeling would increase grocery costs for an average family by $500 per year. Consumers would be forced to bear these increased costs despite the fact that more than 1,000 peer reviewed studies and the world’s most respected health and safety authorities – including the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – have determined that GM food ingredients are safe.
The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food is a broad-based coalition representing the entire American agriculture food chain. The Coalition is committed to increasing understanding about the science and safety of GM technology and to advocating for a federal labeling solution.
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.