The National Corn Growers Association applauded the House Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee for holding an important hearing on the bipartisan Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act and demonstrating the urgent need for legislation that would establish uniform, science-based food labeling standards. Introduced by Congressmen Mike Pompeo and G.K. Butterfield, the bill has already attracted 60 co-sponsors, including 12 Democrats.
Titled “A National Framework for the Review and Labeling of Biotechnology in Food,” the hearing provided members with an opportunity to learn about the role genetic engineering plays in our nation’s food supply. Additionally, the hearing delved into state-specific labeling regulations and their potential impact on interstate commerce and consumers.
“America’s corn farmers are pleased that the bill is receiving support from both political parties and from Members of Congress representing broad and diverse constituencies,” said John Linder, NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair, a farmer from Morrow County Ohio. “We understand that, in this era of limited bipartisan agreement, the fact that support for this bill continues to grow is unique, and we believe this type of support indicates this common sense, consumer-friendly legislation can still advance through the legislative process. From farmers to food manufacturers, 400-plus organizations from all 50 states, representing every part of the food value chain, have publicly voiced ardent support for this bill. The time to move forward, for the sake of farmers and consumers alike, is now.”
The panel testifying during the hearing included: Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals President and Chief Executive Officer Rick Blagden; Office of the Vermont Attorney General Assistant Attorney General Todd W. Daloz; GROWMARK, Inc. Chairman of the Board and President John Reifsteck; Center for Science in the Public Interest Biotechnology Project Director Gregory Jaffe; and Information Technology & Innovation Foundation Senior Fellow L. Val Giddings.
In reference to the hearing, Rep. Pompeo commented, “We are proud of the continued progress we have made on this important legislation and look forward to advancing this bill through the committee. This bill helps to provide clarity in food labeling so consumers, states, and food producers have a consistent framework, while supporting innovation that helps keep the price of food affordable here in America and help us to ensure that we can feed a rapidly growing world.”
The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act will ensure that food labeling in the United States is consistent across state lines and based on sound science. The bill increases coordination between the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, guaranteeing that our nation’s foremost experts on food and agricultural safety are in charge of labeling decisions. The legislation also establishes a transparent, consistent GMO-free certification program, bringing clarity to those who choose to purchase GMO-free foods.