As GMO labeling laws are being ping ponged around in the states, a new bill in Congress has been introduced that would put a stop to individual state’s labeling efforts. Known as the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, the legislation would preempt any state law on labeling and place the responsibility with the FDA.
First, it requires FDA to conduct a safety review of all new GMO traits well before they’re available on supermarket shelves and empowers the agency to mandate the labeling of GMO food ingredients if the agency determines there is a health, safety or nutrition issue with a new GMO technology.
Second, it will ensure farmers and ranchers have access to the technology they need to provide consumers with the variety of food options and price points they expect, and need. This legislation will ensure food safety is the leading driver of a national labeling policy, while maintaining the affordability of the U.S. food supply.
And that’s the great thing — the FDA can decide a label is necessary when there is a reason for it. For example, if a biotech product uses genes from a known allergen, let’s say peanuts, the FDA could clearly mandate that the product includes a label saying so. But the FDA would be working from science and standards, not just fear-mongering like the anti-GMO activists.
The GMO labeling ballot initiatives and legislative efforts that many state lawmakers and voters are facing are geared toward making people wrongly fear what they’re eating and feeding their children. They undermine the public’s understanding of the many benefits of biotechnology in feeding a growing population – and keeping costs down.