WASHINGTON, March 25, 2015 (PRNewswire-USNewswire) — The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) today applauded the introduction of bipartisan legislation that will create a national, science-based labeling standard for foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). IDFA has joined with others to urge Congress to quickly pass the bill.
A growing patchwork of mandatory state labeling laws threatens to harm interstate commerce, drive up the price of food and increase consumer confusion. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K Butterfield (D-NC), will ensure labeling decisions are established by science-based, uniform standards that are consistent in every grocery store in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
"To enable the free flow of interstate commerce and to more easily provide consumers with the information they are looking for, it is essential that we have a federal system of labeling laws rather than a state-by-state approach," said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO.
GMOs have been found to be safe by nearly 2,000 studies from the leading scientific bodies in the world, including the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association.
"We believe it is important for companies to be able to exercise their constitutional right to free speech and to avoid laws that would require labeling of things that have no health or safety consequences," said Tipton. "Six years ago IDFA joined with the Organic Trade Association in a successful lawsuit in Ohio to defeat unconstitutional restrictions on our member's labeling rights and our position has not changed since then. "
Due to the complexity of the American food chain, state-by-state labeling will severely cripple the supply chains of the nation's food producers. These costs – as much as $500 a year for a family of four according to a Cornell University study – will be passed on to consumers. Many family-run businesses will simply be unable to navigate these new hurdles.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $125-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's nearly 200 dairy processing members run nearly 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. IDFA can be found at www.idfa.org.