The National Potato Council (NPC) and the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) praised the release of a legislative proposal by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts that would create permanent federal preemption for food labeling requirements and urged Congress to consider and approve the legislation quickly to avoid confusion and increased costs in the marketplace.
Consumers, businesses, and farmers all need uniform standards based on federal determinations for food label requirements for all foods including those made with genetically modified organisms (GMO), according to NPC. A patchwork of state food labeling laws will increase costs to consumers by increasing processing and packaging costs without any associated benefit.
Vermont’s mandatory labeling law for foods containing ingredients that have been genetically modified takes effect in July and unless Congress acts swiftly, families, farmers, and food companies will face confusion and higher food costs in the market place – with low-income Americans being hit the hardest.
“U.S. potato growers thank Chairman Roberts for introducing national labeling legislation that is a reasonable, common-sense approach that provides consumers easy access to product information and will not result in increased food costs,” said John Keeling NPC Executive Vice President. “We look forward to working with both sides of the aisle to ensure that this legislation is approved by Congress in a timely manner.”
According to ASTA President and CEO Andrew LaVigne, “Time is running out for Congress to take action to prevent a patchwork of state food-labeling laws from being enacted. We applaud Chairman Roberts for putting forth a practical, national solution, and we urge the Senate to pass the proposal as soon as possible.
“ASTA has long advocated for a uniform, national food-labeling solution based on sound science,” LaVigne said. “Consumers and the food and agriculture community alike deserve consistency and transparency in the marketplace.”