A new study by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) has discovered that Vermont’s looming mandatory GMO labeling law could increase the price of a family’s food budget by $1,050 each year. This rise is cost will affect families nationwide and highlights the impact one state can have. The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food is working hard to urge members of Congress to pass a bill to protect people struggling with food costs.
“Vermont’s law will cost all of us, as higher grocery costs will be a jolt to every family’s budget – with the greatest effects on lower-income families already struggling to put food on the table,” said Claire Parker, spokesperson for the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food. “At a time when 48 million Americans are already struggling with food insecurity, Congress cannot allow one state to implement an unprecedented labeling law that will significantly raise food costs for families across the country. When Agriculture Secretary Vilsack observed that state labeling laws will result in ‘chaos in the market,’ this is exactly what he was talking about.”
Vermont’s labeling law is set to go into effect on July 1. Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts has introduced legislation that would create uniform national labeling standards. That proposal is scheduled for action in the committee on Thursday.
“We are confident that leaders in Congress are making progress towards an agreement that attracts bipartisan support and believe today’s study highlights the importance of their work,” Parker said. “Congress must act quickly to pass a national food labeling solution that offers farmers, families and food producers the certainty and access to the affordable and sustainable food supply they deserve. Time is running out, and consumers will ultimately pay the price of delay and inaction.”
The study, conducted by the New York City-based economic consulting firm John Dunham & Associates, determined that the annual cost to families of groceries will jump due in large part to the stigmatizing effect mandatory labeling will have on biotechnology that will likely result in consumers pushing food companies to switch to higher cost non-GMO crops and ingredients. Anti-GMO activists have admitted this is their ultimate goal, with Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, previously stating, “We are going to force them to label this food. If we have it labeled, then we can organize people not to buy it.”
“Senators from both parties should quickly rally around the Roberts legislation and ensure that one small state is not allowed to throw a wrench into the food supply chain that serves over 300 million Americans,” Parker said.
You can see a break-down of how individual states may be affected at http://coalitionforsafeaffordablefood.org/the-problem-a-growing-patchwork-of-state-labeling-laws/.