Corn growers seek Senate action on national food labeling standard

The Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on the safety of genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) and the importance of biotechnology was held on Wednesday, and the National Corn Growers Association wants the Senate to pass a uniform, national food labeling standard adopted as quickly as possible.

“NCGA and Congress agree: consumers should have access to food choices that are safe, nutritious, abundant and affordable,” NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair John Linder, a farmer from Edison, Ohio, said. “Congress, and only Congress, can now prevent a costly and confusing patchwork of state labeling laws from taking effect next year. The Senate must act now to avoid the negative consequences inaction will surely bring for consumers and farmers across the country.”

The committee was told during the hearing that the scientific consensus is that GMOs are safe for humans and the environment. These experts also told the members of the Senate committee that biotechnology is vital in modern agriculture. Biotechnology helps farmers to produce higher yields on less land, use fewer pesticides and less water, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Today’s testimony underscored the fact that biotechnology is not only safe, but an important part of creating an efficient, affordable and reliable food chain. NCGA urges the Senate to move forward on common-sense legislation for a uniform, national food labeling standard,” Linder said.

States including Vermont have passed or are considering state-level labeling mandates if the Senate does not pass the legislation that cleared the House of Representatives in July. The NCGA says if federal and state laws are not uniform, it would hurt both farmers and consumers.

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