WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, issued the following statement in response to the hearing held this morning by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health entitled, “The FDA’s Role in the Regulation of Genetically Modified Food.”
“We commend the committee for holding this critically important hearing. The proceedings further illustrated the need to ensure that scientific experts, not political campaigns, are responsible for developing our nation’s food labeling policies.
“Without a national framework for consistent, science-based food labeling, we would be left with a patchwork of state and local labeling standards that would require separate supply chains to be developed for various states and municipalities. This maze of multiple and varied regulations based on inaccurate information would cripple interstate commerce throughout the food supply and distribution chain and ultimately increase grocery prices for consumers by hundreds of dollars per year.
“GMA supports the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act introduced by Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC). This legislation would eliminate consumer uncertainty created by a state-by-state patchwork of labeling laws, advance food safety, inform consumers and provide consistency in labeling.
“The bill reaffirms the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as America’s preeminent authority on food safety and labeling requirements; requires the FDA to approve all new GMO ingredients before they are brought to market; and establishes federal standards for companies that wish to voluntarily label their products for the absence-of or presence-of GMO food ingredients.
“We urge Congress to consider and pass the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act at the earliest opportunity.”
Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe.
Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day. The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders.
In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year. www.gmaonline.org.