Legislation Would Reduce Consumer Confusion and Promote Safety of Food
The International Dairy Foods Association applauds the introduction today of The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014, which would establish a federal standard for voluntary labeling of food and beverage products made with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs). The bill was introduced by Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), and co-sponsored by Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY).
"U.S. dairy companies work hard every day to ensure America's families have access to safe, abundant and affordable food," said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. "The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 takes an important step toward restoring certainty to America's food producers and avoiding the consumer confusion sure to come from a 50-state patchwork of labeling laws."
Milk is not genetically modified, but the feed for the cows on U.S. dairy farms can be grown from genetically modified seeds, as is most of the feed around the world. Scientific experts have confirmed that the crops are safe and provide the same nutrition, for animals and people, as other crops.
Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Academy of Sciences all have said that GMO ingredients are safe and there are no negative health effects associated with their use.
IDFA believes that a federal solution on GMO labeling would bolster consumer confidence in American food by affirming FDA's overall authority for setting the nation's food safety and labeling regulations.
"IDFA commends Representatives Mike Pompeo and G.K. Butterfield, along with the co-sponsors, for their work on behalf of consumers and food producers," Tipton said.
The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 would require FDA to establish federal standards for companies that want to label their products for the absence or presence of GMO food ingredients so that consumers clearly understand their choices in the marketplace.
It also would require FDA to conduct a safety review of all new GMO traits before they are introduced into commerce. The agency would be empowered to mandate the labeling of GMO food ingredients if and when it determines that a health, safety or nutrition issue with a GMO ingredient exists.
In addition, FDA would need to define the term "natural" for its use on food and beverage products. This requirement would provide one consistent regulatory framework to guide companies on their use of product labels and to inform consumers about their product choices.
For more information about GMOs and the need for a federal labeling standard, visit www.CFSAF.org .