Joanna Lidback, owner of a small dairy farm in Vermont, told members of the House Agriculture Committee that mandatory GMO labeling would have a negative impact on consumers.
IDFA supports “The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” a bill that proposes to create a national, science-based labeling standard for foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that was introduced on Tuesday by Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC). The bill, similar to one introduced by the congressmen last April, would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) jurisdiction over GMO labeling, prevent a 50-state patchwork of GMO labeling laws and provide consumers with consistent information.
The day before the bill was introduced, the House Committee on Agriculture held a public hearing on mandatory GMO labeling laws to discuss and examine the costs and impacts that labeling would generate. One of the witnesses was Joanna Lidback, owner of The Farm at Wheeler Mountain, a small dairy farm in Westmore, Vt., who testified in favor of the bill. She discussed the challenges that business owners would face as a result of mandatory GMO labeling and said it would ultimately have a negative impact on consumers.
“Eighty percent of the children in our elementary school[s] receive free or reduced school lunches. It is their families who would suffer the most from price increases caused by mandatory biotech labeling – those who can least afford it,” Lidback told committee members at the hearing.
Other witnesses at the hearing were Chris Policinski, president and CEO, Land O’Lakes; David Schmidt, president and CEO, International Food Information Council; Nina Federoff, senior science advisor, OFW Law; Lynn Clarkson, president, Clarkson Grain Company, Inc.; and Thomas Dempsey, CEO, Snack Food Association.
Last June, Vermont became the first state to require food products made with GMO ingredients to be labeled accordingly, effective in 2016. Connecticut and Maine also passed mandatory GMO labeling laws last summer, but the laws would not become effective until neighboring New England states pass similar legislation.
Read “IDFA Applauds Introduction of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.
For more information about the bill and the House Committee on Agriculture’s hearing, contact Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs, at email@example.com or 202-220-3553.