The Grocery Manufacturers Association and 27 other trade associations, groups and organizations representing food producers, farmers and manufacturers have launched the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food to advocate a federal GM labeling solution that would require a label on GM foods, but only if the FDA determines that there is a health or food safety risk.
“One of our objectives is to advocate for a federal bill that provides a uniform labeling standard,” explained Pam Bailey, president and CEO of GMA during a press call Thursday. “We’ve been sharing our concepts with members of the House and Senate and have been encouraged by the very positive reaction that we’ve gotten. In terms of a specific bill and timing, that’s of course up to Congress.”
FDA policy is to mandate food labeling for health, safety or nutrition reasons. It has determined that GM foods do not materially differ from conventional.
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In addition to addressing labeling, the bill that the coalition is advocating would include mandatory premarket approval by the FDA before a new GM technology is marketed. Bailey explained that such reviews are currently voluntary.
“The objective of the legislation is that if FDA does find a safety reason, then they would require a label,” Bailey said.
It would also address voluntary labeling of GM foods, and voluntary labels to identify foods that do not contain GM ingredients, with specific standards promulgated by FDA.
Read more: FMI updates stance on GMO labeling
“What this legislation would create is a single national framework for labeling of GMO ingredients, either for the presence or absence of,” Bailey said. “It would be welcomed by America’s food and beverage companies.”
Coalition members include American Bakers Association, American Frozen Food Institute, Corn Refiners Association, International Dairy Foods Association, National Fisheries Institute, National Restaurant Association, National Turkey Federation, Snack Food Association, Council for Responsible Nutrition and others.
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