SFA Commends Introduction of Bipartisan GMO Labeling Bill

SFA Commends House for Introducing Bipartisan Legislation to Establish Federal Standard for GMO Food Labels

March 25, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Snack Food Association (SFA) President & CEO Tom Dempsey commends Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) today for introducing bipartisan legislation, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, which preempts state GMO laws, establishes a voluntary federal labeling standard for GMO foods, and seeks to eliminate confusion, advance food safety, and provide consistency in the marketplace.

The bill introduction comes just one day after Dempsey and two SFA member companies testified before the House Agriculture Committee on the costs and impacts of mandatory biotechnology labeling laws. Mr. Lynn Clarkson, President of Clarkson Grain Company, Inc. based in Cerro Gordo, IL and Mr. Chris Policinski, President and CEO of Land O'Lakes, Inc. based Arden Hills, MN testified beside Dempsey. 

Since January 2015, 28 states including Puerto Rico have introduced over 70 varying pieces of legislation which would mandate the labeling of GMO foods. Because SFA does not have a single snack maker that manufactures, distributes, and sells in just one state, a patchwork of multiple state laws with different mandates would place an insurmountable burden on our food supply chain, significantly increase cost to our consumers, and would wreak havoc on interstate commerce. Manufacturers and consumers alike need a common sense solution and the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 does just that.

Labeling has historically been and should continue to be reserved for food safety and nutritional purposes. Though GMO foods have been proven safe, we understand that some consumers seek this information. The legislation calls for a voluntary USDA program to create a Non-GMO labeling certification process similar to the current USDA Organic seal.  This allows food manufacturers to disclose this important information to consumers without hampering innovation and hurting small businesses.

As Congress continues to debate the issue of GMO labeling, SFA commends the introduction of this critical legislation which had 17 original co-sponsors at introduction (nine Republicans and eight Democrats). SFA will continue to work closely with Coalition for Safe Affordable Food to urge Congress to swiftly adopt this common sense solution.