On behalf of the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA), I would like to thank Congress, especially the entire Iowa delegation (both House and Senate), for their support in the passage of the GMO labeling agreement. We urge President Obama to sign this legislation into law as soon as possible so that there are no negative consequences from Vermont’s labeling law which will hinder interstate commerce, severely disrupt the U.S. farm and food industry, and raise food prices.
This bipartisan legislation provides clarity to consumers about genetically modified food ingredients and a workable standard for food manufacturers to implement. Companies must disclose GMO ingredients, but are provided the flexibility to do so through several options including text on package, a symbol, a QR Code or an electronic link to a website.
Most importantly, it makes clear that the label or text used on the packaging cannot be used to disparage biotechnology, which would likely have occurred under the Vermont GMO labeling law. It is important to note that the Vermont law, which went into effect July 1, is already impacting a number of companies who are changing their labels to meet this state’s standards.
America’s farmers and the food manufacturers came together to advance a solution that works across the food value chain. Iowa’s farmers rely on GMO crops not only to reduce soil erosion and pesticide applications, but also keep food costs affordable for families around the world. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistic Service, 93 percent of Iowa’s corn crop last year was genetically modified. Nearly 2,000 studies have been conducted proving GMO products to be safe, including one by the National Academy of Sciences.
Multiple studies have shown the risks and associated costs with Vermont’s GMO labeling law. The food chain system from the farm to the store shelf would face unsurmountable challenges and ultimately the consumers would pay the price with higher food costs.
We cannot face a patchwork of state labeling laws that flies in the face of scientific evidence showing that there are zero documented cases of biotechnology threatening human health, safety nor nutrition. Again, we hope the President acts quickly in signing this important piece of legislation into law.
Shannon Textor, Director of Marketing & Communications, email@example.com, 515-225-9242
Lisa Cassady, PR Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 515-443-3947