February, 22 2016

New Economic Study Highlights Urgent Need For Congressional Action To Prevent Food Price Hikes on Families from Vermont GMO Labeling Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Claire Parker
202.677.7699
[email protected]

February 22, 2016

New Economic Study Highlights Urgent Need For Congressional Action To Prevent Food Price Hikes on Families from Vermont GMO Labeling Law
Vermont mandate could raise food prices for U.S. families by nearly $1,050 a year

(Washington, D.C.) – The need for Congressional action to protect people already struggling with the cost of food from having to pay significantly more has never been more urgent after a new economic study finds that Vermont’s looming mandatory GMO labeling law will increase food costs for families throughout the nation.

The study, released by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), found that the Vermont law could increase the price of groceries by nearly $1,050 annually.  This highlights the far-reaching impacts one state’s misguided law will have on the entire nation’s food chain and emphasizes the urgent need for Congressional action to prevent people already struggling with the cost of food from having to pay significantly more.

“Vermont’s law will cost all of us, as higher grocery costs will be a jolt to every family’s budget – with the greatest effects on lower-income families already struggling to put food on the table,” said Claire Parker, spokesperson for the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food.  “At a time when 48 million Americans are already struggling with food insecurity, Congress cannot allow one state to implement an unprecedented labeling law that will significantly raise food costs for families across the country.  When Agriculture Secretary Vilsack observed that state labeling laws will result in ‘chaos in the market,’ this is exactly what he was talking about.”

Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts has introduced a proposal to set a uniform national standard for food labeling, which is scheduled to be taken up for committee action Thursday.  The Vermont labeling law goes into effect July 1.

“We are confident that leaders in Congress are making progress towards an agreement that attracts bipartisan support and believe today’s study highlights the importance of their work,” Parker said.  “Congress must act quickly to pass a national food labeling solution that offers farmers, families and food producers the certainty and access to the affordable and sustainable food supply they deserve.  Time is running out, and consumers will ultimately pay the price of delay and inaction.”

The study, conducted by the New York City-based economic consulting firm John Dunham & Associates, determined that the annual cost to families of groceries will jump due in large part to the stigmatizing effect mandatory labeling will have on biotechnology that will likely result in consumers pushing food companies to switch to higher cost non-GMO crops and ingredients.  Anti-GMO activists have admitted this is their ultimate goal, with Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, previously stating, “We are going to force them to label this food.  If we have it labeled, then we can organize people not to buy it.”

“Senators from both parties should quickly rally around the Roberts legislation and ensure that one small state is not allowed to throw a wrench into the food supply chain that serves over 300 million Americans,” Parker said.
The impacts of Vermont’s labeling law will vary state-by-state.  For more information on these state-level impacts, please visit: http://coalitionforsafeaffordablefood.org/the-problem-a-growing-patchwork-of-state-labeling-laws/.

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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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