The “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” brings us transparency and consumer confidence in our food purchases.
It also will render consumers here and abroad the most affordable food and improve the lives and environment for so many around the globe.
I am a long time farmer, mother and volunteer with several food and agriculture organizations. It troubles me when I read and hear about the evils of genetically modified food ingredients. I know and you should know that after 30-plus years of science and trillions of meals sold, genetically modified food ingredients or GMOs are safe and equal and sometime greater in nutritional value than non-GMO food ingredients.
However, you shouldn’t have to rely on taking this notion because I say it or another source tells you the opposite. As a consumer, you should be able rely on your government to assure you that food ingredients are what they say they are.
What’s more, you shouldn’t have to rely on which state you’re in to know which food ingredients are in your food. That is why I support and strongly urge our national policy makers to act and provide consumers with a national GMO labeling system that we all can have confidence in.
A 50 state patchwork of different food definitions will not work for us or the world that relies heavily on US agriculture products. In order to feed our world and do so without harming the environment biotechnology and GMOs can and should be used to accomplish both.
In my work with the Farmers Feed the World program I have seen people in poorer countries have very little access to foods and the water is in short supply.
Genetically modified seeds allow these families to produce a more abundant crop for their families with less water. Women are the primary farmers in these areas of the world and in some cases carry water in buckets for their family and their crops.
Sometimes this trek can be miles to the nearest water supply. Transportation is a large issue in these parts of the world. Healthy food is too.
Golden Rice was genetically modified to contain fortified vitamins essential to eye health. Thousands of children were born blind in other countries because of the lack of these vitamins. Rice is the main staple for these families and is now being provided with a medical breakthrough for health.
Genetically modified insulin, a life-saving drug for diabetics, has been used for over 24 years. GM medicines are as valuable as GM crops to the world. Genetically Modified crops allow us to use crop protectants once or not at all instead of several applications. This reduces chemical and water use and helps the environment.
Farmers are very conscious about our conservation practices and we take pride in caring for the land we own. Non-organic and organic farmers both use crop protectants. Each of these example of GM/bio-tech food has brought great benefit to the world and right here at home.
So when I see or hear ads and social media postings that claim one food source is safer than another, they are misleading. We need all types of agriculture to complete the task of producing enough food for our country and others.
The U.S. has always been known for providing abundant, safe foods at the most affordable price. We also are known for our humanitarian work.
A patchwork of labeling mandates throughout the nation will negatively impact consumers, farmers and food producers alike. In response to these laws, farmers and food companies must create separate supply chains, warehousing and delivery mechanisms to individual states. This will lead to severely higher prices at the grocery store.
We need our senators to create a safe and accurate national labeling system for food ingredients that provides everyone from every state the same information.
Information that consumers here in the US and abroad can have confidence in. I urge the U.S. Senate to act on what the House has already passed. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act now.