0510ASAOpposesBiotechLabelingBilldbsr.cfm Malatya Haber ASA opposes nationwide biotech labeling bill
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ASA opposes nationwide biotech labeling bill

In a letter to Capitol Hill recently, ASA joined multiple fellow farm groups in opposing recently introduced legislation from Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA, and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR, that would require special labels for food and beverages that contain ingredients derived from biotechnology or genetically engineered crops.

“There is no scientific basis to justify mandatory labeling solely on the basis of genetic engineering,” wrote the groups in the letter. “Regardless of the intent of the bill’s proponents, this label would highly likely confuse and scare consumers, provide no health or safety benefits, and would have significant negative effects on agricultural productivity, resource use efficiency, weather risk management, farmer profitability, and the environmental protection gains made possible by the adoption of biotechnology.”

The groups highlighted the already-rigorous testing regimen for biotech crops, and reminded lawmakers of the perfect track record of biotech crops in human and animal applications, saying, “In the United States, we have almost 20 years experience in the use of biotechnology-derived crops for human and animal food without a single adverse incident.”

“Food and beverage manufacturers are committed to providing consumers with the information they need to make safe and healthy choices for them and their families. The limited space on the food label is the most effective tool for delivering that information,” the groups concluded. “A special mandatory label for food and beverages that may contain genetically engineered ingredients will almost certainly mislead consumers, while providing no corresponding health or environmental benefits. Moreover, amending our nation’s food laws should be an exercise based upon credible scientific evidence and there is none that supports the labeling requirement outlined in the legislation recently introduced in Congress.”

Date: 5/27/2013

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