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#RecordOfSuccess Grows as House Approves Bipartisan Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act


07.23.15

Upton: “This bipartisan bill is pro-consumer and pro-science.”


WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives today approved H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, by a vote of 275-150. The bipartisan legislation, authored by Committee members Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), creates a voluntary, national standard for the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) food products while reiterating the Food and Drug Administration’s and United States Department of Agriculture’s roles in ensuring the continued safety of these food products. 

Pompeo spoke about the multi-year, multi-Congress effort to author this important legislation in a safe and meaningful way. “Throughout this process, we have sought to address every legitimate concern and provide whatever clarification necessary. The fact is, the scientific consensus on the safety of GE products is utterly overwhelming. Precisely zero pieces of credible evidence have been presented that foods produced with biotechnology pose any risk to our health and safety.”

Pompeo continued, “Mandatory labeling of GE products has no basis in legitimate health or safety concerns, but is a naked attempt to impose the preferences of a small segment of the populace on the rest of us – and make our constituents foot the bill.  A recent study shows that proposed state GE-labeling laws could raise the average family’s food bill by roughly $500 a year.”

Butterfield added, “This bipartisan bill, cosponsored by 106 of our colleagues, creates a science-based, nationwide labeling standard for plant-based foods. … The science regarding the safety of bioengineered foods is not murky. The opposite in fact. There have been over 2,000 studies worldwide that show foods grown from these plants are safe. … Nearly every major scientific organization agrees that foods produced with bioengineered products are as safe as their non-GMO counterpart.”

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said, “H.R. 1599 would facilitate a coordinated premarket evaluation process at FDA and the United States Department of Agriculture to ensure the safety of each new genetically engineered plant before it is sold for use in food. The bill would also require FDA – after a transparent, public process – to establish standards related to the use of the term “natural” in food labeling claims. This is necessary to address consumer confusion and costly litigation based on a current lack of clarity and consistency. This bipartisan bill is pro-consumer and pro-science.”

Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) explained, “Genetic engineering in agriculture has occurred for centuries. Ingredients from genetically engineered plants have been a part of the U.S. food supply for decades.  In fact, as much as 90 percent of our corn, sugar beet, and soybean crops are now genetically engineered and more than 70 percent of processed foods contain ingredients derived from such crops. The Food and Drug Administration oversees the safety of all food products from plant sources, including those from genetically engineered crops. These products must meet the same safety requirements as foods from traditionally bred crops.”

Read a summary of H.R. 1599 online HERE. See a list of groups supporting the bipartisan legislation online HERE.

Learn more about the Energy and Commerce Committee’s #RecordOfSuccess online HERE.

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Subcommittees
Health (114th Congress)
Press Release