FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Peggy Armstrong
(Washington, D.C. – March 1, 2016) The International Dairy Foods Association commended the members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, especially Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS), for approving legislation today that would establish national standards for labeling food made with genetically engineered ingredients. The bill, which passed by a bipartisan 14-6 vote, would prevent increased food prices for consumers and halt the costly state-by-state patchwork of labeling mandates, including one in Vermont that is scheduled to take effect July 1.
“IDFA thanks the Republican and Democratic members of the Committee who voted in favor of the bill and commends them for recognizing the importance of this bill to American consumers, as well as to the nation’s food suppliers,” said J. David Carlin, IDFA senior vice president for legislative affairs and economic policy. “By putting an immediate stop to the patchwork of state-based labeling requirements for foods with genetically modified, or GMO, ingredients, the bill will protect consumers from higher food costs and prevent food manufacturers from having to contend with inconsistent and costly regulations.”
The bill also would require the Secretary of Agriculture to create a national voluntary GMO labeling standard and, along with industry, take on the task of educating consumers regarding the benefits of agricultural biotechnology.
With today’s vote, the Senate Agriculture Committee joins the House Agriculture Committee and the full House of Representatives in supporting a consistent, national labeling standard. The bill now moves to the full Senate, with action expected soon.
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies within a $125-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's nearly 200 dairy processing members run nearly 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. IDFA can be found online at www.idfa.org.