House Ag Committee Passes Labeling Bill

Cindy Zimmermanbiotechnology, GMO, Government

The House Agriculture Committee today approved the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 with bipartisan support.

conaway-headFirst introduced by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), the legislation has evolved through bipartisan discussions between the Agriculture Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee. “I appreciate the collaborative efforts of the Energy and Commerce Committee in getting this bipartisan legislation completed and approved today. H.R. 1599 is the solution to an urgent and growing problem,” said committee chair Mike Conaway (R-TX) “Creating a uniform national policy regarding biotechnology labeling is the free market solution that will allow consumers access to meaningful information, create market opportunities for those on the production and processing side, and will facilitate future innovation.”

“The bill is a workable solution that will alleviate the potential mess of 50 states with 50 different labeling schemes,” added Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN).

The bill was changed this week under an amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) to ensure that milk could only be certified as non-GMO if the cows are fed non-biotech grain. “As a parent, I believe it is important to have national and reliable food labels and this bill does that by allowing for an effective, uniform labeling system that consumers can trust,” said Davis. “Just as consumers can go to the grocery store and identify organic products, this bill will allow them to do the same with GMO-free products.”

“Today’s committee approval of this legislation is a strong sign of the support for national food labeling legislation that gives consumers the information they want in a truthful, consistent manner, and we call on the full House to vote on this important bill before the August recess,” said Claire Parker, spokesperson for the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food.

The bill could be on the House floor as soon as next week but as of yet no companion bill has been introduced in the Senate.