Every ag organization in the U.S. that believes in and supports conventional agriculture seemed to weigh in as happy as could be about yesterday’s House Agriculture Committee’s approval of H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.

This is the act supported by the conventional agriculture industry, which would “establish a national, science-based standard for the safety and labeling of food containing genetically modified ingredients (GMOs),” as noted by the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. The act would provide a national standard for voluntary labeling of GMO-free foods, as well as foods from biotechnology. The act would not allow each state in the union to write conflicting GMO-labeling requirements.

So, why is it so exciting that the House Agriculture Committee approved this act out of committee? I don’t see it as much news at all. The news would have been if the committee had not approved it out of committee. Lobbying for passage of the act by ag groups has been hot and heavy.  

The members of the ag committee in general have an agricultural constituency; therefore, if Representatives voted against this bill, they were disagreeing with the majority opinion of those back home in rural America.

The real celebratory news will be when the same version of the act passes both the House and Senate. The old states’ rights is too lame of an excuse for not voting for a federal labeling law.