SFA Praises Introduction of the Roberts Proposal and Applauds Chairman Pat Roberts for His Leadership

February 19, 2016

Arlington, VA – Snack Food Association President & CEO Tom Dempsey today praised the introduction of the proposal released today by Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts and called for urgent action to take up and pass the legislation.

Vermont’s mandatory law requiring on-package labels of foods containing ingredients that have been genetically modified takes effect in July, and unless Congress acts swiftly, families, farmers and food companies will face chaos in the market and higher costs. Multiple studies have shown that the associated costs with Vermont’s GMO-labeling law and a subsequent patchwork of state laws will cost American families hundreds of dollars more in groceries each year – with low-income Americans being hit the hardest.

“SFA’s members, farmers and the entire food industry are in urgent need of a federal solution to GMO labeling,” Tom Dempsey stated. “The introduction of the Roberts Proposal is encouraging. Absent a federal solution, manufacturers would have essentially three options in order to comply with state labeling laws – redesign packaging, reformulate products, or halt sales to that state.  Each option is difficult, costly, time-intensive, and at worst, could eliminate jobs and consumer choice in the marketplace,” Dempsey continued. “SFA thanks Chairman Roberts for his leadership to find a common-sense, uniform national food labeling standard, and we look forward to working to ensure this legislation is approved by Congress as quickly as possible.”

By calling on the USDA to establish standards for how GMO foods should be labeled and creating a public education program to raise awareness about GMO technology, the Roberts Proposal will bring consistency and transparency to the marketplace. It will also ensure consumers have access to more product information than ever before without stigmatizing a safe, proven technology that is a central part of modern farming.