By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau: We continue to address the biotechnology in agriculture issue here in Arizona agriculture, better known by the public as genetically modified (GM).
Why is it an ongoing issue for us in Arizona agriculture? Because some believe a mandatory GM label will better inform you. But the reality is simply more misinformation.
One coalition group, The Coalition for Safe, Affordable Food, contends that a patchwork of state-by-state mandatory labels will create more confusion than help and ultimately really disrupt our food supply chain.
First, This Is Not New
GM technology is not new. In fact, it has been around for the past 20 years. A federal standard for GM labeling eliminates confusion, provides consistency and advances food safety, giving consumers the education and information in their grocery choices.
Reduces Likelihood of Increased Costs on Food Supply
State-by-state mandatory GMO labeling laws create burdensome food supply chain requirements especially when you consider that as much as 80% of the foods we eat in the United States have been genetically modified.
- One recent study showed that labeling efforts in California would lead to an increase in grocery bills by as much as $400 per family per year.
A national set of standards established by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the nation’s foremost food safety authority, eliminates the confusion and uncertainty of labeling laws that vary state-by-state. A 50-state patchwork of GMO labeling laws would allow our nation’s food safety and labeling laws to be determined by political campaigns, and state and local elections.
Provides Consistency to Consumer Choice
A federal standard would also direct the FDA to define the term “natural” on food and beverage products and establish clear, uniform standards for companies who voluntarily label their product for the absence or presence of GMOs. It will help consumers clearly understand their choices in the marketplace.
For more information about the Coalition and our broad base of support for The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 4432), visit http://www.coalitionforsafeaffordablefood.org.