Bill will preempt states from requiring additional and inconsistent GMO labeling standards
Oregonians for Food & Shelter
Agriculture, biotechnology and sound science had a win this week. The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015.
This legislation seeks a federal solution to the labeling of foods derived from modern biotechnology. H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 would provide a national framework for the voluntary labeling of GMO foods. Importantly, the bill will preempt states from requiring additional and inconsistent GMO labeling standards.
Congressman Schrader, who was a co-sponsor of the bill and spoke in favor of the legislation on the House Floor, stated “A patchwork of confusing state specific laws related to GMO labeling risks further confusion in the marketplace and rising food costs. H.R. 1599 provides a uniform standard for non-GMO products through a USDA administered program and ensures national uniformity for non-GE claims providing consistency in the marketplace while ensuring consumer confidence in the integrity of the label.”
After the vote, Congressman Walden released a statement countering misinformation that the legislation would preempt local production regulations.
“I’ve heard from many residents of Jackson County concerned that the bill would overturn the ban on GMO cultivation put into place by the voters. It does not do that. Local governments will retain their authority to regulate agriculture production within their borders.
“What the bill does is ensure a uniform standard for food labeling so that consumers know exactly what’s in their food. For example, it requires the FDA to develop a uniform standard for foods labeled as ‘natural’ to prevent companies from misleading consumers. It also establishes a uniform standard for foods labeled as ‘non-GMO’ or ‘GMO free.’
H.R. 1599’s Chief Sponsor Congressman Pompeo recognized Oregonians for Food & Shelter’s support of the legislation in his closing remarks.
Please thank these Congressmen on their dedication to the use of technology and for all they do for our natural resource sectors.