A proposal to establish a national, voluntary GMO labeling bill is receiving praise from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), the American Soybean Association (ASA) and the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA).

The proposal, authored by Sen. Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R., Kan.),  would create national, voluntary labeling rules to be developed by the United States Department of Agriculture within two years of the bill’s enactment. It would also prohibit states from establishing their own GMO labeling laws, and have an educational component to educate consumers about the safety of ag biotech.

Food companies are desperate for national GMO labeling legislation, since state laws could create a mix-mash of regulations that could prove impossible to meet. Vermont’s mandatory law that all GMO foods carry food labels is set to take affect this July. Some studies suggest GMO labeling would cost American families up to $500 more in groceries per year, hitting low-income families hardest.

Here are statements from the three groups:

  • “The bill proposed by Chairman Roberts provides a common-sense, national food labeling standard that brings consistency and transparency to the marketplace, and will ensure consumers have access to more product information than ever before without stigmatizing a safe, proven technology that is a central part of modern farming,” says J. David Carlin, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs. “We appreciate Chairman Roberts’ leadership and we look forward to working towards passage of this important legislation.”
  • “We’ve heard repeatedly that Americans want more information on what’s in their food, and we are invested in providing that information to them. Chairman Roberts’ bill is one that moves the food production industry in a direction of greater transparency, while at the same time protecting farmers’ ability to use what science has repeatedly proven to be a safe and sustainable technology,” said ASA President Richard Wilkins, a farmer from Greenwood, Del.
  • "If Congress implements a national law requiring a uniformed standard like what is contained in this bill, the food industry, animal food industry, farmers and consumers will share equal protection from unnecessary costs and different state mandated labeling requirements," says Leah Wilkinson, AFIA vice president of legislative, regulatory and state affairs.

"AFIA and the animal food industry welcome this bill with open arms as we seek a solution to this ongoing dilemma. We believe this is a fair resolution for both agriculture and consumers, as it provides consistency in the marketplace.”