Midwest Food Processors Association: Commends Congress for passing GMO labeling bill

Contact: Nick George, President 608-255-9946 [email protected]

Brian Elliott Dir. of Communications 608-255-9946 [email protected]

Midwest Food Processors Commend Congress For Passing GMO Labeling Bill

The Midwest Food Processors Association (MWFPA) today commended Congress for passing legislation establishing a national standard for labeling foods with genetically modified ingredients, otherwise referred to as GMOs.

MWFPA President Nick George said the measure “establishes a nationwide disclosure system for GMOs that brings much-needed consistency and additional transparency to the marketplace. This legislation provides consumers with access to more product information than ever before without stigmatizing a safe and proven technology that is crucial to modern food production.”

The bill passed today overrides a Vermont labeling law and any other future state-level labeling initiatives and it creates a mandatory system of disclosure, but it leaves it up to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to determine the best methods to incorporate that information into the food labeling system. USDA will have two years in which to write regulations to implement the law.

George noted that, “preventing a state-by-state patchwork of mandates that would only confuse consumers and increase food prices was an important facet of the legislation.”

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In 2014, Vermont became the first state in the nation to enact a mandatory GMO labeling bill, raising the specter of similar measures in states across the country. The Vermont law went into effect on July 1. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals is still considering the food industry’s challenge to Vermont’s enactment on constitutional grounds.

“MWFPA greatly appreciates the efforts of Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, as well as those of House Agriculture Committee Chairman Conaway, Ranking Member Peterson and Congressmen Pompeo and Butterfield, in seeing that this important issue was addressed in a bipartisan fashion,” said George.

“MWFPA has always recognized the desire of consumers to know what is in their food. This important legislation gives consumers the information they want in a consistent and factual way,” said George. “It also reaffirms the authority of federal regulators over food safety and labeling, and prevents the slow but sure development of dozens of different state food labeling laws.”

Genetically modified food ingredients have been proven safe by nearly 2,000 studies from the leading scientific bodies worldwide. Included are the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association. Up to 80 percent of the food available in the United States contains genetically modified ingredients.