GMA, Major Trade Groups Urge Hill to Oppose Biotech
February 23, 2000
Senate Biotech Labeling Bill 'Would Result in Consumer
Confusion, Not Education'
WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Mandatory labeling
of products developed through biotechnology "would result
in consumer confusion, not consumer education," said 35
leading trade associations in letters sent to every member
of the Senate.
The Grocery Manufacturers of America was among several
major food, farm, retailer, and manufacturer groups that
urged lawmakers to oppose a mandatory labeling bill
being introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Her bill is
similar to one introduced in the House by Rep. Dennis
"We want to remind Senators that the Federal government
has a science- based framework in place to regulate
products developed through biotechnology," said Karil
Kochenderfer, GMA Director, International Trade and
Environmental Affairs, in a separate statement.
The trade groups noted that the products of biotechnology
are safe and have cleared regulatory hurdles at the Food
and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency,
and the Department of Agriculture. "These products would
not be allowed on the market if they had not met the
highest U.S. safety standards," the letters said.
The legislation "would require labeling on all biotech food,
food ingredients, dietary supplements, feed and products
from animals fed biotech commodities. This would require
segregation from farm to supermarket, and would result
in higher food costs and lower farm prices."
"FDA already has a labeling policy in place that requires
mandatory labeling if products of biotechnology differ
from traditional products in terms of their composition,
their nutritional content, or their allergenicity. We believe
that mandating special labeling would imply to consumers
that these products are somehow different or less safe
than other products."
A copy of the letter is available on GMA's Web site at
www.gmabrands.com. For more information, contact Brian
Sansoni at 202-337-9400 x3957.
GMA is the world's largest association of food, beverage
and consumer product companies. With U.S. sales of
more than $450 billion, GMA members employ more than
2.5 million workers in all 50 states. The organization
applies legal, scientific and political expertise from its
member companies to vital food, nutrition and public
policy issues affecting the industry. Led by a board of 44
Chief Executive Officers, GMA speaks for food and
consumer product manufacturers at the state, federal and
international levels on legislative and regulatory issues.
The association also leads efforts to increase productivity,
efficiency and growth in the food, beverage and consumer
SOURCE Grocery Manufacturers of America
CONTACT: Brian Sansoni of the Grocery Manufacturers of
America, 202-337-9400, ext. 3957 or www.gmabrands.com
Web site: http://www.gmabrands.com
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