The American Feed Industry Association supports the bipartisan agreement on labeling of genetically modified organisms that was announced on June 23. US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) spearheaded the agreement.
"After much anticipation, AFIA welcomes and strongly supports the bipartisan Roberts/Stabenow agreement that would set a federal standard for the labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients,” Leah Wilkinson, vice president of legislative, regulatory and state affairs for the AFIA, said in a press release. “We take note of the time and dedication put into the crafting of this language, and thank Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow for their work toward a unified standard for the betterment of consumers, retailers, the feed industry and farmers.
"This agreement would protect everyone who touches the U.S. food chain from the costly and negative impacts of Vermont's on-package labeling mandate,” Wilkinson said. “It also gives consumers access to the information they desire when making food-related decisions and does so without shunning GE products, which are proven to be safe and nutritious.
"AFIA stresses this agreement's importance, and urges the Senate to pass it as soon as possible!"
The agreement would establish a national, mandatory system of disclosure for food that contains GMO ingredients, according to a press release from the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. The agreement also closes loopholes under the Vermont law which would have allowed tens of thousands of processed food products, like frozen dinners or entrees that contain meat and GMO ingredients, to go unlabeled. Under the law in Vermont, for example, a cheese pizza could be labeled but a pepperoni pizza could not, even if it contained a GMO ingredient. Although organics have always been non-GMO, this agreement ensures organic producers can clearly display a non-GMO label in addition to the organic seal, providing additional information to consumers about the food they eat.