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Agricultural News

GMO Labeling Bill in Senate Ag Committee Gathering Support Ahead of Thursday Business Meeting

Wed, 24 Feb 2016 05:29:48 CST

GMO Labeling Bill in Senate Ag Committee Gathering Support Ahead of Thursday Business Meeting What do companies like Walmart, Coca Cola, Kelloggs and General Mills all have in common? They have all signed onto a letter praising the Chairman of the Senate Ag Committe, Pat Roberts, for the release of his Chairman’s Mark on Biotechnology Labeling Solutions, which will be considered at the Committee’s business meeting on Thursday.

"Our draft has the overwhelming support of virtually every agricultural industry from field to fork and beyond,” Roberts said. “This demonstrates the widespread concerns of significant and critical sectors of our economy regarding the urgent need to address biotech labeling before the patchwork of state laws harms producers and consumers.”

The letter – which contains more than 650 signatures from farmers, cooperatives, agribusinesses, processors, seed makers, handlers, food and feed manufacturers, lenders, and retailers – is in support of the Chairman’s Mark for a national solution on biotechnology labeling. The groups urge the U.S. Senate to take quick action “to avoid the economic costs of a patchwork of state laws that will directly impact consumers, farmers, and the entire food value chain.” Click here to read the letter, which includes the support of dozens of major food companies and four Oklahoma farm and agribusiness groups- including the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Oklahoma Ag Cooperative Council, Oklahoma Soybean Association and the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association.

The Senate Agriculture Committee last October held a hearing on agriculture biotechnology with federal regulators and perspectives from producers and consumers – the first biotechnology hearing in 10 years. The hearing focused on science and the role of the regulatory system to help ensure a safe and affordable food supply for consumers at home and around the globe.

According to news reports from our nation's capitol, negotiations continue between Senator Roberts and the top Democrat on the panel, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. If Roberts and Stabenow can walk into the meeting room with a deal on Thursday morning, there is a greater chance of success ahead of getting a voluntary labeling plan that can pass both the Senate and be okayed in the House as well.

The Business meeting of the Senate Ag Committee where this proposal from Senator Roberts will be featured happens Thursday morning at 9:00 AM central time. Click here for the webpage that has a link to the language of the Chairman's Mark as well as the video box where you can watch the business meeting live.



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