The American Soybean Association (ASA) announced on Feb. 6 that it is a member of the newly formed Coalition for Safe Affordable Food (www.CFSAF.org) and urged Congress to quickly seek a federal solution that would establish standards for the safety and labeling of food and beverage products made with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).
"We need a federal GMO labeling solution that will protect consumers and ensure the safety of food ingredients made through the use of modern agricultural biotechnology," said ASA President Ray Gaesser.
The Coalition stated in a media conference call earlier today that such a federal GMO labeling solution would:
• Eliminate Confusion: Remove the confusion and uncertainty of a 50 state patchwork of GMO safety and labeling laws and affirm the FDA as the nation's authority for the use and labeling of genetically modified food ingredients.
• Advance Food Safety: Require the FDA to conduct a safety review of all new GMO traits before they are introduced into commerce. FDA will be empowered to mandate the labeling of GMO food ingredients if the agency determines there is a health, safety or nutrition issue with GMO technology.
• Inform Consumers: The FDA will establish federal standards for companies that want to voluntarily label their product for the absence-of or presence-of GMO food ingredients so that consumers clearly understand their choices in the marketplace.
• Provide Consistency: The FDA will define the term "natural" for its use on food and beverage products so that food and beverage companies and consumers have a consistent legal framework that will guide food labels and inform consumer choice.
"Biotechnology has been a huge benefit for our producers, and we believe that a single, federal standard for labeling of GM technology is the best solution to balance the needs of consumers with the capabilities of producers," said Gaesser. "We are proud to be a member of the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food because that is what we strive to provide America's families every day. It is our number one priority."
Facts About GMOs (www.FactsAboutGMOs.org )
• Many of the most influential regulatory agencies and organizations that study the safety of the food supply, including the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, Health Canada, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Academy of Sciences, have found genetically modified food ingredients (GMOs) are safe and there are no negative health effects associated with their use.
• GM technology adds desirable traits from nature, without introducing anything unnatural or using chemicals, so that food is more plentiful.
• GM technology is not new. In fact, it has been around for the past 20 years, and today, 70-80% of the foods we eat in the United States, both at home and away from home, contain ingredients that have been genetically modified.
• Ingredients grown using GM technology require fewer pesticides, less water and keep production costs down. In fact, GM technology helps reduce the price of crops used for food, such as corn, soybeans and sugar beets by as much as 15-30%.
• One in eight people among the world's growing population of seven billion do not have enough to eat, and safe and effective methods of food production, like crops produced through GM technology, can help us feed the hungry and malnourished in developing nations around the world.
For further information, please visit www.CoalitionForSafeAffordableFood.org.