NMPF Hails House Passage of Voluntary GMO Food Labeling Bill -- July 23

Release date: July 23,2015
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The National Milk Producers Federation today thanked the House of Representatives for passing legislation establishing a voluntary, national standard for labeling foods with genetically modified ingredients.

NMPF said the House bill, known as the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, protects consumer choice while it creates a uniform, science-based labeling standard for foods made with GM ingredients. The organization pledged to work with the Senate to pass a similar bill to ensure that the final legislation meets the needs of America’s dairy farmers.

“Today’s bipartisan vote demonstrates the broad support for voluntarily labeling foods with GM ingredients,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “A patchwork of state-by-state labeling requirements is simply not an option, as testimony at several congressional hearings clearly showed.”

Last year, 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 Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act would pre-empt the Vermont bill, which is scheduled to go into effect next year.

The House bill also creates a voluntary non-GM labeling program modeled after the National Organic Program. It gives shoppers options without forcing the food industry to comply with slightly different requirements in each state.  

“This important legislation gives consumers the information they want in a consistent and factual way,” said Mulhern. “It also reaffirms the authority of federal regulators over food safety and labeling, and prevents the creeping development of dozens of different state food labeling laws.”

House passage of the legislation, by a margin of 275-150, came two days after more than 475 organizations from all 50 states issued a letter supporting the bill.

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.