Supporting Safe & Accurate Food Labeling
Last week about 20 of my industry colleagues and I, who serve on the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) Executive Committee, met for three intense days in Washington D.C. Each spring we meet to discuss issues and lobby for or against legislative bills that impact our industry and our livelihoods.
One of the issues we discussed with members of Congress is the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. On April 9, a bi-partisan group of legislators introduced this piece of legislation that would ensure accurate and consistent labeling of foods made with GM ingredients and formalize FDA’s safety review of new biotech traits.
What I like most about the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act is that it would provide consistent reporting nationwide and help restore some common sense to food labeling. The federal legislation would provide consumers with accurate, consistent information about their food without implying that GM ingredients are less nutritious or less safe.
We support the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act because it:
- Eliminates confusion. The bill addresses the confusion and uncertainty that would result if each state in the union passed its own GMO food labeling laws. Just imagine the problems this could cause for food companies and restaurants doing business in multiple states!
- Informs consumers. The bill helps consumers make sense of GM labeling claims by asking the FDA to establish federal standards for companies that want to voluntarily label their product regarding the absence-of or presence-of GMO food ingredients. This will aid consumers in understanding food choices when they shop.
- Provides consistency: The bill requires FDA to define the term “natural” for use on food and beverage products.
- Further advances food safety: The bill mandates that any company introducing GM traits work extensively with FDA to ensure an extensive safety review is completed before the trait is commercialized, which is standard industry practice today.
We hope you’ll join us in support the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. Send a letter to the editor of your local paper and set the record straight on GMOs and the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. Learn more about this legislation from the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food.