A piece of legislation that is touted as being able to create a national, science-based labeling standard for foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has won praise from a dairy group. The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) is welcoming the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K Butterfield (D-NC). The bill would fix across all 50 states the growing patchwork of mandatory state labeling laws that threaten to harm interstate commerce, drive up the price of food and increase consumer confusion.
“To enable the free flow of interstate commerce and to more easily provide consumers with the information they are looking for, it is essential that we have a federal system of labeling laws rather than a state-by-state approach,” said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO.
GMOs have been found to be safe by nearly 2,000 studies from the leading scientific bodies in the world, including the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association.
“We believe it is important for companies to be able to exercise their constitutional right to free speech and to avoid laws that would require labeling of things that have no health or safety consequences,” said Tipton. “Six years ago IDFA joined with the Organic Trade Association in a successful lawsuit in Ohio to defeat unconstitutional restrictions on our member’s labeling rights and our position has not changed since then.”
State-by-state labeling would severely cripple the supply chains of the nation’s food producers and could cost consumers an extra $500 a year for a family of four according to a Cornell University study. In addition, many family-run businesses would simply be unable to navigate these new hurdles and possibly put out of business in states that have contrary labeling practices.