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NMPF Board, YCs to Blanket Capitol Hill This Week to Urge Passage of Biotech Foods Law

June 3, 2016

More than 100 dairy farmer leaders from across the country will descend on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to urge Congress to take immediate action to establish a federal standard on the disclosure of biotechnology ingredients in food.

NMPF’s Board of Directors, and its Young Cooperators advisory council will meet with Senators and House members to push for Congressional action in advance of July 1, the date Vermont’s first in the nation GMO labeling law is slated to take effect. NMPF is ratcheting up efforts to create a national regulatory system for biotech foods that would preempt unworkable state mandates such as the one in Vermont.  As part of that effort, the Board will also be voting next Wednesday on a resolution that urges Congress to resolve this issue in a way that will avoid confusion in the food marketplace.

NMPF’s concern is that if the Vermont law goes into effect, and other states adopt similar approaches, the continued challenge to safe and sustainable agricultural biotechnology will cause disruption across the food chain, and stigmatize current and future products that have demonstrable benefits to society.

NMPF Chairman Randy Mooney told a hearing last month of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock that the failure by Congress to address this issue “threatens the viability not only of my farm, but also the 30,000 farmers I represent. It also threatens our ability to feed the world’s growing population.” 

“Biotech plants not only are safe for consumers, they also enhance the environment, by reducing energy, water and pesticide use,” said Mooney. “Farmers have overwhelmingly adopted GMO crop technology because it increases productivity while improving agricultural sustainability.”

The NMPF resolution to be voted on Wednesday also addresses a corresponding concern that future state mandates could mandate the labeling of meat and dairy products solely because the dairy cattle supplying the milk have consumed feed that is genetically modified. 

Mooney said that “biotech crops have no effect on the milk or meat from animals that consume them, and that’s why any biotech food disclosure efforts need to ensure the common-sense treatment of animal feed.”