The McLean, Virginia-headquartered American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) has commended US President Barack Obama for signing into law legislation that establishes a federal labeling standard for food and beverage products made with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).
The action preempts state GMO labeling laws and empowers the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to create a uniform, national labeling program. The bill (S. 764) requires on-pack disclosure of GMOs through a variety of methods, including Quick Response Codes, a symbol, 1-800 numbers and website referrals.
“This bipartisan solution bolsters consumer confidence while giving frozen food and beverage makers the certainty they require to meet the needs of America’s consumers without a patchwork of different state labeling mandates,” said AFFI President and CEO Alison Bodor. “We look forward to continuing our work as the law enters the rule making process at USDA to ensure implementation remains in line with Congressional intent.”
Opponents of the bill, among them Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, have complained that it isn’t as stringent as Vermont legislation that will now be superseded by the federal law.
It is estimated that up to 80% of the food consumed in the United States contains GMOs, which the Food and Drug Administration says is safe to eat.