Calls for Final Senate Passage this week to Allow for House Vote by July 15
(Washington, DC) The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today issued the following statement from Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO, on the 65-32 vote in the U.S. Senate today to move forward and take up bipartisan national legislation on disclosure of genetically engineered ingredients. The cloture vote needed 60 votes to cut off debate, and clears the way for a final vote on the legislation.
“Today’s strong bipartisan Senate vote is a key step towards passage of this vitally important legislation to protect consumers, farmers and businesses from the harmful effects of Vermont’s GMO labeling law.
“But the work isn’t done yet. The Senate needs to pass the bill this week so that it can be voted on by the House before the July recess at the end of next week.
“Vermont’s mandatory on-package GMO labeling law took effect on July 1 and consumers and small businesses in the state are already facing fewer products on the shelves and higher costs of compliance on small businesses.
“We thank Senators Roberts and Stabenow for their leadership to pass this commonsense solution before the harmful effects of Vermont’s labeling law impact the nation’s entire food supply chain.
“The disclosure requirement in the Senate bill meets the demand by shoppers for more information about their food. The innovative SmartLabel™ technology initiative will be one way under the federal legislation that consumers can get access to information about genetically engineered ingredients – and many other ingredients and product attributes.
“SmartLabel™ will put detailed information right at the fingertips of consumers about thousands of products so they can find what they want to know – and when they want to know it. It enables them to get much more information than ever before – and more than could ever fit on a package label. More than 1,150 products already are using SmartLabel™ and are listed on the SmartLabel.org website, and many more products are likely to be added in the next several weeks. By the end of 2017, projections are that over 34,000 products will be using SmartLabel™. This includes 22,000 products disclosing information about genetically modified ingredients and 6,500 personal care, household and pet care products.”
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is the trade organization representing the world’s leadingfood, beverage and consumer products companies and associated partners. The U.S. food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry has facilities in 30,000 communities, generates $1 trillion in sales annually, contributes $415 billion in added value to the economy every year and is the single largest U.S. manufacturing industry with 1.7 million manufacturing workers. Founded in 1908, GMA has a primary focus on product safety, science-based public policies and industry initiatives that seek to empower people with the tools and information they need to make informed choices and lead healthier lives. For more information, visit gmaonline.org.