Kansas Corn Applauds Committee Passage of Roberts’ Labeling Bill
Today, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved legislation introduced by Chairman Pat Roberts which will address the growing concern of a confusing jumble of state labeling laws. The Kansas Corn Growers Association (KCGA) called for the full Senate to urgently take up this important legislation that provides for permanent federal authority over GMO labeling laws. KCGA recently joined over hundreds of organizations from Kansas and across the nation in a letter to Senator Roberts voicing support for the bill.
“We are encouraged by the bill’s quick passage in committee and encourage continued momentum through the Senate. Kansas has taken the lead on this issue with this bill and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo’s Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act which was passed by the House in July,” said KCGA CEO Greg Krissek. “Decisions on food labeling should be made by the federal government, and be based on scientific evidence instead of arbitrary, activist-driven laws on the state level. States like Vermont are quickly working to adopt mandatory state-level labeling legislation that will be costly and confusing for consumers. It is important that the Senate takes up this issue quickly to avoid a situation in which all American consumers pay a high price and gain little actual information.”
In the committee hearing today, Senator Roberts said, “it is clear that what we’re facing today is not a safety or health issue. It is a market issue. This is really a conversation about a few states dictating to every state the way food moves from farmers to consumers in the value chain. We have a responsibility to ensure that the national market can work for everyone, including farmers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.”
GMOs go through a rigorous federal approval process which relies on scientific evidence to prove their safety. Farmers rely on this proven technology to more sustainably protect their crops from insects, weeds and drought. Krissek said food safety and labeling decisions should be made by the scientists and qualified federal policymakers, not political activists and campaigns.
Vermont’s mandatory law requiring on-package labels of foods containing ingredients that have been genetically modified takes effect in July. Unless Congress acts swiftly, families, farmers and food companies will face confusion and higher costs. Multiple studies have shown that the associated costs with Vermont’s GMO-labeling law and a subsequent patchwork of state laws will cost American families hundreds of dollars more in groceries each year, with low-income Americans being hit the hardest.