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February 20, 2014

Safe Affordable Food Coalition Wants Federal Solutions

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

Members of the food value chain have united and formed the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food. Seanica Otterby has the story.
OtterbyAmerican Farm Bureau policy specialist Andrew Walmsley says the purpose of the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food is to address issues related to the patchwork of state regulations across the country regarding labeling of foods produced using genetically modified organisms.
WalmsleyThe new coalition is basically coming together to look for federal solutions. These patchwork of laws doesn’t really benefit anyone, except for maybe advocates who don’t want to see technology in our food or are trying to dictate one way that our food production should go.
OtterbyWalmsley says the coalition is looking for a federal solution that would appropriately empower the Food and Drug Administration.
WalmsleyIf there is a concern with a new technology that might be out there, that it’s labeled appropriately. Otherwise, it doesn’t need to be on a label. We also would like FDA to look at voluntary standards. So if a company does want to do a market differentiation, if consumers want to have a little bit more information, that those standards are in place for an individual company to do that.
OtterbyScience has shown GMOs are safe and there’s not a lot of difference between GMO food and non-GMO food, which Walmsley says is the reason the coalition is looking for a federal standard when appropriate. As consumers get further removed from the farm, Walmsley says they want answers about their food. Fortunately, there are many resources for this information.
WalmsleyOne is GMOAnswers.com. Have a conversation with your local farmer or your Extension service or your local Farm Bureau. If you’ve got questions about food, there’s folks out there that want to answer them.
OtterbyWalmsley says the coalition just wants to ensure safe, affordable food is still available. Seanica Otterby, Washington.

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