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Following its introduction late last month, the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee has approved new legislation that would create a uniform labeling standard for foods made with GMOs, and for those without, a move that has garnered industry-wide praise.
As PG previously reported, the legislation aims to avoid the consumer confusion and industry disruption that trade groups say would result from state-mandated GMO labeling laws.
“The nation’s grocery stores commend Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and the Senate Agriculture Committee for their mindful consideration of our industry’s commitment to providing clear criteria and definitions on food labeling," said Food Marketing Institute President/CEO Leslie G. Sarasin. "We appreciate Senator Joe Donnelly’s (D-IN) efforts to work toward a compromise, and we expect even more bipartisan support when the legislation reaches the Senate floor.”
Added Grocery Manufacturers Association President/CEO Pamela G. Bailey, "This strong and bipartisan vote is a victory for working families, farmers, and food companies. This legislation ensures that consumers get consistent information about food and beverage ingredients, prevents a patchwork of confusing and costly state labeling mandates, and provides the same labeling rules to shoppers across the country."
International Dairy Foods Association SVP for Legislative Affairs and Economic Policy J. David Carlin said the bill "will protect consumers from higher food costs and prevent food manufacturers from having to contend with inconsistent and costly regulations," while Joseph Clayton, interim president of the American Frozen Food Institute, noted the move as an "important milestone in this critical fight for frozen food and beverage makers and American consumers."
The Senate Ag Committee voted 14-6 to approve the bill, which now moves to the full Senate, with action expected soon.