FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Claire Parker
August 5, 2015
Paltrow Ignores Concerns of American Families in Lobbying Against Bipartisan Legislation
(Washington, D.C) – The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food criticized Gwyneth Paltrow and the Just Label It campaign today for lobbying against the bipartisan Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, legislation that will protect consumer choice, provide uniformity and transparency in food labeling and protect American families from costly price hikes associated with a patchwork of state labeling laws that will slow interstate commerce.
“Out of touch Hollywood celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow want Congress to enshrine their lifestyle choices into law while ignoring the everyday realities facing American families,” said Claire Parker, spokesperson for the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food. “This legislation has earned the backing of everyone from farmers to food banks. We are confident the Senate will stand with science and American families rather than the extreme agendas of Hollywood elites and that common sense and scientific consensus will win out over media spectacle.”
The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act has earned the backing of nearly 500 organizations from all 50 states representing the entire American food supply chain. This legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a nearly two to one vote, 275-150, with broad, bipartisan backing. This support was due in large part to the fact that the bill will prevent a patchwork of state labeling mandates from driving up food costs by $500 a year for an average family of four, according to a study by an economist at Cornell University.
The 275 House members – a mix of Democrats and Republicans – who voted for this bill represent nearly 200 million Americans. The legislation creates a uniform, science based labeling standard for foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), bringing consistency to the market place. It also creates a GMO-free certification program so consumers who want to buy non-GMO foods have a reliable means of doing so.
“The fact is American farmers rely on this safe, proven technology to grow the food that feeds the world and the leading health and safety organizations – from the World Health Organization to the American Medical Association – have deemed GMOs safe,” Parker said. “This technology keeps food costs down, plain and simple.”
It is unfortunate that the Just Label It Campaign has chosen Paltrow as its lead spokesperson on this issue, given the fact that she had admitted not knowing what it’s like to feed a family on a fixed budget. As she has stated previously, “I am who I am. I can’t pretend to be somebody who makes $25,000 a year.”
Just Label It and its allies are pushing mandatory labeling of GMOs, but the House of Representatives rejected mandatory labeling by a nearly 3-to-1 margin. And to be clear, these mandatory labeling proposals will lead to consumer confusion because they are filled with loopholes. Under Vermont’s GMO labeling law, vegetable soup would be labeled as having genetically engineered ingredients while vegetable beef soup would not because it contains meat.
“We are confident Senators will join their Democratic and Republican colleagues in the House and stand up for the needs of their constituents rather than Hollywood elites,” Parker said.
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.