October, 8 2015

Texas Members of CFSAF Tell Congress of Urgent Need For Uniform, National Food Labeling Standard

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

October 7, 2015

Texas Members of CFSAF Tell Congress of Urgent Need For Uniform, National Food Labeling Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives of Texas’s agriculture and food sectors came to Capitol Hill today to urge passage by Congress of a uniform, national labeling standard for foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

With Vermont set to implement its own labeling standard next July and other states passing or considering their own labeling mandates, participants in the fly-in expressed the urgency to get a federal bill passed this fall in order to stave off the negative effects of a patchwork of differing state labeling laws.

A uniform, national food labeling standard will ensure that consumers in all 50 states have access to the same labeling information, bringing consistency and transparency to the marketplace. Additionally, a GMO-free certification program will provide consumers who choose to purchase non-GMO items a reliable means of doing so.

The fly-in, organized by the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, featured men and women from 22 states who represent the entirety of the nation’s food supply chain: farming groups, co-ops, seed producers and food companies. In total, the group had more than 140 meetings on Capitol Hill today.

Participants in the fly-in expressed the urgent need for action by the Senate soon on the critical issue.

Texas farmers rely on GMOs to help them grow more crops on less land while using fewer pesticides, less irrigation and limiting greenhouse gas emissions. In 2014, 93 percent of the cotton and 91 percent of the corn grown in Texas were genetically modified.

“In our meetings, we were encouraged to hear Senators from both parties say that they understand the need for a federal solution and came away confident that they understand how truly urgent this matter is,” said Wade Cowan, president of the American Soybean Association. “This is a critical issue for us, as 94 percent of the soybeans grown in the United States last year were genetically modified. As soybean farmers, we’ve been part of the GMO debate for nearly 20 years. Mandatory labeling will impact all aspects of our operations, from planting to cultivation, and significantly increase our costs. We want to continue to feed American families in a way that is sustainable and economically viable.”

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act in July by a significant 275-150 bipartisan vote, with 45 Democrats voting yes. That legislation would ensure that consumers have access to the same science-based information regardless of which state they shop in instead of different state mandates. It would also create a national GMO-free certification program that would provide consumers who prefer GMO-free foods a consistent means of identifying those products.

The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food is committed to passing a reasonable, common sense labeling standard this fall and will continue to advocate for food labeling policies that keep prices down and provide reliable and consistent science-based information.

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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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