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IDFA Commends Reps. Pompeo and Butterfield for Bill to Establish Federal Standard for Voluntary GMO Labeling

Legislation Would Reduce Consumer Confusion and Promote Safety of Food

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International Dairy Foods Association applauds the introduction today of The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014, which would establish a federal standard for voluntary labeling of food and beverage products made with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs). The bill was introduced by Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), and co-sponsored by Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY).

"U.S. dairy companies work hard every day to ensure America's families have access to safe, abundant and affordable food," said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. "The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 takes an important step toward restoring certainty to America's food producers and avoiding the consumer confusion sure to come from a 50-state patchwork of labeling laws."

Milk is not genetically modified, but the feed for the cows on U.S. dairy farms can be grown from genetically modified seeds, as is most of the feed around the world. Scientific experts have confirmed that the crops are safe and provide the same nutrition, for animals and people, as other crops.

Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Academy of Sciences all have said that GMO ingredients are safe and there are no negative health effects associated with their use.

IDFA believes that a federal solution on GMO labeling would bolster consumer confidence in American food by affirming FDA's overall authority for setting the nation's food safety and labeling regulations.

"IDFA commends Representatives Mike Pompeo and G.K. Butterfield, along with the co-sponsors, for their work on behalf of consumers and food producers," Tipton said.

Bill Highlights

The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 would require FDA to establish federal standards for companies that want to label their products for the absence or presence of GMO food ingredients so that consumers clearly understand their choices in the marketplace.

It also would require FDA to conduct a safety review of all new GMO traits before they are introduced into commerce. The agency would be empowered to mandate the labeling of GMO food ingredients if and when it determines that a health, safety or nutrition issue with a GMO ingredient exists.

In addition, FDA would need to define the term "natural" for its use on food and beverage products. This requirement would provide one consistent regulatory framework to guide companies on their use of product labels and to inform consumers about their product choices.

For more information about GMOs and the need for a federal labeling standard, visit www.CFSAF.org.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies within a $125-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's nearly 200 dairy processing members run nearly 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. IDFA can be found online at www.idfa.org.

IDFA is a member of The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, which is dedicated to providing policy makers, media, consumers and all stakeholders with the facts about ingredients grown through GM technology. We are also an advocate for common sense policy solutions that will further enhance the safety of the GM crops and protect the vital role they play in today's modern global food supply chain. The coalition is comprised of American farmers and representatives from a diverse group of industry and non-governmental organizations.

SOURCE International Dairy Foods Association

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