The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food applauded Reps. Mike Pompeo and G.K. Butterfield for their introduction of the bipartisan Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, to establish a federal labeling standard for food and beverage products made with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).
“The introduction of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act was an important first step to restoring sanity to America’s food labeling laws,” said Martin Barbre, president, National Corn Growers Association. “GMOs are perfectly safe and America’s farmers rely on this proven technology to protect our crops from insects, weeds and drought. Important food safety and labeling decisions should be made by the scientists and qualified policymakers at the FDA, not political activists and campaigns. A federal solution on GMO labeling will bolster consumer confidence in the safety of American food, while giving farmers and food producers the certainty we need to continue providing safe, affordable food for America’s families.”
The bill, introduced during a media teleconference by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), and cosponsored by Representatives G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) will reaffirm the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as America’s sole authority on food safety and labeling requirements, avoiding an expensive and confusing patchwork of state-by-state labeling laws.
It will also require the FDA to approve all new GM ingredients before they are brought to market and will set a federal standard for the labeling definition of “natural” foods.
This legislation protects consumers and ensures the safety of food ingredients made through the use of modern agricultural biotechnologythrough the following:
- Eliminate confusion: Remove the confusion and uncertainty of a 50 state patchwork of GMO safety and labeling laws and affirm the FDA as the nation’s authority for the use and labeling of genetically modified food ingredients.
- Advance food safety: Require the FDA to conduct a safety review of all new GMO traits before they are introduced into commerce. FDA will be empowered to mandate the labeling of GMO food ingredients if the agency determines there is a health, safety or nutrition issue with an ingredient derived from a GMO.
- Inform consumers: The FDA will establish federal standards for companies that want to voluntarily label their product for the absence-of or presence-of GMO food ingredients so that consumers clearly understand their choices in the marketplace.
- Provide consistency: The FDA will define the term “natural” for its use on food and beverage products so that food and beverage companies and consumers have a consistent legal framework that will guide food labels and inform consumer choice.