GMO Food Regulation Hearing Draws Crowd

Cindy ZimmermanAFBF, Ag Group, biotechnology, GMO, Government

labeling-hearingA hearing on the role of the Food and Drug Administration in the regulation of genetically modified food drew quite a bit of interest on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

“I only wish every hearing drew this much interest,” said Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

Among the witnesses at the hearing were animal genomics and biotechnology specialist Alison Van Eenennaam with the University of California-Davis; Scott Faber with the Environmental Working Group; Vermont state representative Kate Webb; Kansas Farm Bureau board member Stacey Forshee; and Tom Dempsey with the Snack Food Association.

“As a hard-working American family who lives off the land and the products it provides, we would never allow a product we grew or raised to enter the food supply unless we knew it was safe,” said Forshee, who is a farmer and cattle rancher with her husband in north central Kansas. Forshee testified that she has seen firsthand the benefits of biotechnology crops, including higher yields over fewer tillable acres, reduced pesticide use and improved soil conservation.

The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food (CFSAF) supports the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, authored by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC). CFSAF spokesperson Claire Parker says the hearing shows Congress is taking this issue very seriously. “Representatives Pompeo and Butterfield are to be commended for advancing a bipartisan solution that will ensure consumers’ grocery prices are not increased by unnecessary government red tape,” said Parker.

Read hearing testimony and watch video here.