House to vote on food labeling bill
Washington—The House of Representatives is scheduled this week to vote on the bipartisan Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599). The bill is an important step toward greater clarity on food labeling, according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. The measure will clarify the FDA as the nation’s foremost authority on food safety and create a voluntary labeling program run by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, the same agency that administers the USDA Organic Program.
The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act “empowers consumers by continuing to require warning labels for foods that may have an adverse effect on the public. At the same time, it does away with labeling schemes that would stigmatize foods based on nothing more than the way in which they were developed,” Stallman said in a statement when the bill was approved by the House Agriculture Committee last week.
In addition, the legislation will provide a federal solution to protect consumers from a confusing patchwork of 50-state labeling policies for foods containing genetically modified organisms, and the misinformation and high food costs that would come with such policies.
“This bill is an antidote to anti-GMO initiatives that make people wrongly fear the food they eat. Such regulations generally ignore science and undermine the public’s understanding of food farmers and ranchers produce,” Stallman said. “H.R. 1599 restores reason to our food discussions and shows pseudoscience and food quackery the door. We look forward to passage by the full House in the very near future.”