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January 05, 2016

Conversations Continue on National GMO Labeling Law

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

Labeling of GMO food continues to be a hot topic on Capitol Hill. Micheal Clements reports.
Clements: Vermont’s GMO labeling law and other state laws in the works mean farmers are pushing harder than ever for a national GMO standard. Without a nationwide code, food producers say, they and consumers alike will be left to deal with a patchwork of state laws. American Farm Bureau’s Andrew Walmsley says lawmakers and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack are expected to continue the discussion this year.
Walmsley: To bring some folks together to try to come to a resolution, to solve the quandary we’re in as it relates to mandatory labeling, to come up with something that alleviates consumers concerns out there but also doesn’t stigmatize a perfectly safe and valuable tool in agriculture.
Clements: Walmsley says varying state laws would create confusion for consumers and farmers alike.
Walmsley: From a farm level, to when a farmer harvests his crop on how he would have to segregate that for different standards, it starts to get costly pretty quickly, and so it would create quite a bit of a headache, quite a bit of cost for consumers, and this is for a product that is perfectly safe.
Clements: Senator Debbie Stabenow and Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Pat Roberts, along with USDA Secretary Vilsack, have all made commitments to start the discussion on GMO labeling this month.
Walmsley: We’re ready to get to the table to have those discussions, to find a solution, to address not only Vermont’s upcoming challenge but a myriad of other states taking action potentially wreaking havoc on our food system.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.

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