The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food issued the following statement in response to the mandatory labeling bill proposed by Senator Merkley:
“This is another mandatory labeling solution in search of a non-existent problem. Mandatory on package labeling is reserved for important health and safety information or to distinguish material difference in products; this doesn’t apply to biotech labeling because the overwhelming scientific consensus shows that GMOs are completely safe.
“Mandatory on pack labeling for GMOs would be a significant break from established labeling precedent and listing this information on the package – including the Nutrition Facts Panel – would lead consumers to conclude that this ingredient has health or safety risks and should be avoided. Anti-GMO activist have declared they will use labels such as this to drive biotechnology from the marketplace, the result of which will be higher grocery bills for consumers. Senator Merkley’s proposal would end up stigmatizing a technology the farmers he represents rely on.
“The fact is that both the Senate and the House have already voted down mandatory on pack labeling with large bipartisan majorities. It can’t pass, period. The right legislation is the Biotech Labeling Solutions Act, sponsored by Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS), which calls for a uniform national standard for food labeling and allows for disclosure without requiring on package labels. This approach enjoys bipartisan support in the Senate, and the House has already passed a similar proposal with significant support from Democrats. CFSAF is committed to working with Senators to ensure this need for a national law and uniform standard is resolved in a timely fashion that satisfies the needs of consumers, family farmers and small businesses.”
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.