May 7, 2014. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 (H.R. 4432) aims to provide the federal government the ultimate authority to oversee the labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients. This is in direct response to repeated efforts by numerous states to enact state based labeling requirements. Including failed attempts by California and Washington State, successful efforts by Massachusetts and Maine (pending the adoption of GMO labeling requirements by another state), and Vermont’s recent passage of the first in the nation state based labeling law concerning GMO ingredients in food.
According to the Bill’s sponsors, Reps. Mike Pompeo and G. K. Butterfield, the legislation takes an approach that is far better than a 50-state patchwork of GMO labeling laws that could mislead consumers, raise the price of groceries for American families and yet do nothing to advance food safety. Rep. Butterfield went on to state that “this bill has resounding support from … the agriculture community at-large,” and “prevents a mishmash of labeling standards and allows farmers to continue to produce higher yields of healthy crops in smaller spaces with less water and fewer pesticides.”
Proponents of the federal legislation are quick to highlight the importance of uniformed labeling standards and the related benefits to the consumer. However, opponents continue to insist that this is just another attempt to avoid disclosing information to the consumer. Continue to follow the GLF Ag Law Blog for the most up to date new on the continuing battle over GMO labeling requirements.