Washington, D.C. (July 22, 2015)—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives strongly urges members of the House of Representatives to approve H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, when it is considered on the floor later this week.
“H.R. 1599 will, for the first time, set a national standard for the labeling of foods from crops developed using biotechnology. By doing this, it will benefit both producers and consumers. For farmers, co-ops and food companies, the bill will provide certainty about labeling standards,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC. “For the American consumer, H.R. 1599 will expand the options they have at the supermarket. Those who want foods without GMOs could purchase products displaying a new label, verified by a program overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that provides them with the assurance that they are getting what they are paying for.”
Conner also urged House members to reject any amendment that would force mandatory labeling of GMO products on marketplace.
“The opponents of this bill have called for the U.S. government to mandate that companies label products containing GMOs, despite the fact that government only mandates labeling foods for nutrition and safety and despite the fact that every reputable scientific study has found GMO crops to be just as safe as non-GMOs. Such a course would also, in practice, mean that the government is mandating that every American pay more for food,” Conner emphasized. “Put simply, H.R. 1599 expands the choices for consumers and lets them make purchasing decisions for themselves. Mandatory labeling, on the other hand, is meant to limit consumer freedom and advance a narrow, unscientific ideological agenda.”