Lucas Supports Measure to Bring Greater Uniformity and Accuracy to Food LabelingThu, 23 Jul 2015 15:58:13 CDT
Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), former chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Thursday voted in favor of H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015. The legislation, which passed by a vote of 275-150, establishes an effective and efficient voluntary labeling system for non-genetically engineered foods. This nationwide standard prevents a patchwork of conflicting state or local labeling laws that threaten to interfere with interstate commerce.
Lucas released the following statement upon passage of the legislation:
"Biotechnology has made great strides in sustainability for both our environment and food supply. A genetically modified (GM) seed can grow in a wider variety of soils, it can withstand harsher conditions and it can require fewer pesticides or herbicides.
"For farmers, a GM crop means a lower rate of crop failure. For the everyday consumer, it means cheaper trips to the grocery store. And for those in developing countries, this technology means food on their plates rather than rotting in fields from drought or pests.
"Federal policy on food labeling must remain grounded in science and I believe this legislation is a step forward in the direction of innovation, safety and affordable food. H.R. 1599 establishes national uniformity in food labeling because the journey from the farm to your dinner table should be transparent." said Congressman Lucas.
Under H.R. 1599, certifying agents accredited by USDA would certify that a food was produced with or without genetic engineering, and creates a national standard for "Non-Genetic Engineering" claims. This bill would preempt any mandatory state labeling laws related to genetic engineering. Under this bill, the many existing voluntary certification programs would be eligible to continue for three years while rules are established to achieve uniformity nationwide.
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