News Column

BIO Joins Coalition to Advocate for a Federal GMO Labeling Solution

February 6, 2014



WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 -- The Biotechnology Industry Organization issued the following news release:

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), along with 28 other ag and food organizations, announced today the formation of the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food (www.CFSAF.org) and urged Congress to quickly seek a federal solution that would establish standards for the safety and labeling of food and beverage products made with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).

"We stand strongly behind the health and safety of GMO food ingredients, but we also recognize that consumers have questions," said Cathy Enright, BIO's Executive Vice President for Food and Agriculture. "This is one of the reasons we launched GMO Answers last July - to create a public conversation about GMOs and to provide consumers with information to enable them to make up their own minds about GMOs with facts in hand."

A federal GMO labeling solution is needed that will protect consumers and ensure the safety of food ingredients made through the use of modern agricultural biotechnology:

* Eliminate Confusion: Remove the confusion and uncertainty of a 50 state patchwork of GMO safety and labeling laws and affirm the FDA as the nation's authority for the use and labeling of genetically modified food ingredients.

* Advance Food Safety: Require the FDA to conduct a safety review of all new GMO traits before they are introduced into commerce. FDA will be empowered to mandate the labeling of GMO food ingredients if the agency determines there is a health, safety or nutrition issue with an ingredient derived from a GMO.

* Inform Consumers: The FDA will establish federal standards for companies that want to voluntarily label their product for the absence-of or presence-of GMO food ingredients so that consumers clearly understand their choices in the marketplace.

* Provide Consistency: The FDA will define the term "natural" for its use on food and beverage products so that food and beverage companies and consumers have a consistent legal framework that will guide food labels and inform consumer choice.

"As a member of this coalition, we also recognized an opportunity to reinforce our commitment to advancing food safety. We support statutory language for explicit FDA authority to require a label of any GMO food ingredients that raises a safety or health issue," said Enright. "Moreover, we support a federally mandated review of all new GMO traits prior to their introduction onto the marketplace. "

"There is much information out there that is intended to scare consumers about GMO foods," adds Enright. "As a member of this coalition, we are committed to promoting policy that addresses their questions."

The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food is dedicated to providing policymakers, media, consumers and all stakeholders with the facts about ingredients grown through GM technology. We are also an advocate for common sense policy solutions that will only further enhance the safety of the GM crops and protect the vital role they play in today's modern global food supply chain. The coalition is comprised of American farmers and representatives from a diverse group of industry and non-governmental organizations:

* AACC International/ American Phytopathological Society

* American Bakers Association

* American Beverage Association

* American Farm Bureau Federation

* American Feed Industry Association

* American Frozen Food Institute

* American Seed Trade Association

* American Soybean Association

* American Sugarbeet Growers Association

* Biotechnology Industry Organization

* Corn Refiners Association

* Council for Responsible Nutrition

* Flavor & Extract Manufacturers Association

* Global Cold Chain Alliance

* Grocery Manufacturers Association

* International Dairy Foods Association

* National Association of Manufacturers

* National Association of Wheat Growers

* National Confectioners Association

* National Corn Growers Association

* National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

* National Fisheries Institute

* National Grain & Feed Association

* National Oilseed Processors Association

* National Restaurant Association

* National Turkey Federation

* North American Millers Association

* Snack Food Association

* U.S. Beet Sugar Association

For further information, please visit www.CoalitionForSafeAffordableFood.org.

[Category: Science]

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