Assembly Republican Press Release -
A bipartisan resolution sponsored by Assembly Republicans Jack Ciattarelli and BettyLou DeCroce urging Congress to pass a bill allowing food manufacturers to voluntarily label their products as GMO-free was released by the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee today. A product is genetically modified if its contents include more than one percent of materials that are produced or enhanced by genetic engineering or bioengineering.
Ciattarelli and DeCroce’s bill, AR-239, supports passage of the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015” (H.R. 1599). Under the federal bill, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would create a federal standard for the voluntary labeling of products containing GMO ingredients. It also stipulates that states would not be allowed to require mandatory labeling on products which include GMOs.
“A state-by-state patchwork of labeling requirements is not in the best interest of consumers and more costly to food producers,” said Ciattarelli, R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex. “The FDA should be responsible for developing consistent criteria. Without a uniform standard, added cost will be passed on to the consumer due to manufacturers having to comply with different state regulations. Centralizing GMO labeling is better for the consumer and less complicated for manufacturers.”
The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599 in July by a vote of 275-150. The bill awaits action in the U.S. Senate.
“The science in food product development is constantly evolving,”’ said DeCroce, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic. “Consumer safety is best achieved when consistent and transparent guidelines are established and apply uniformly in all states. The FDA is the optimal place that oversees and ensures compliance with food safety standards. Allowing a hodge-podge approach by each state complicates this issue and may result in consumers misunderstanding what they read.”