The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) commended the US House of Representatives on July 23 for approving bipartisan legislation establishing a federal labeling standard for food and beverage products with genetically enhanced ingredients (GMOs).
Introduced by Reps. Mike Pompeo (Republican-Kansas) and G.K. Butterfield (Democrat-North Carolina), the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015” preempts state-level efforts to enact mandatory GMO labeling by empowering the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to create a uniform national labeling program. The measure was approved by a vote of 275-150.
The legislation requires food makers to receive FDA certification in writing that their products have been deemed safe to enter the commercial market, and ensures consistency between the non-GMO certification processes established at the US Department of Agriculture and other voluntary labeling programs. The legislation also includes a federal labeling standard for the definition of “natural” food.
“AFFI applauds the US House of Representatives for advancing legislation that benefits consumers and protects frozen food and beverage makers from burdensome and misguided state regulations,” said Kraig Naasz, president and ceo of the McLean, Virginia-headquartered trade association. “AFFI urges the US Senate to follow suit and pass legislation that thwarts the creation of a complicated patchwork of state-based labeling rules that would increase, rather than reduce, consumer confusion and food prices.”