Grower News: ASA Backs GMO Labeling Compromise

A recent American Soybean Association (ASA) press release shared its strong support for new GMO labeling legislation crafted by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) to “set a national standard for the labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients, or GMOs.” 

According to the release the compromise bill would establish “a national standard of mandatory disclosure through a variety of options, including quick-response (QR) codes, 800-numbers, websites and on-pack labeling, such that companies would be able to select the method of disclosure that works best for their range of products.”

By setting a national standard the bill would preempt state labeling laws (such as the one in Vermont) and prevent a ‘patchwork’ of legislation among the states. The ASA notes that, most importantly for soybean farmers, the national standard would remove the “the stigmatization that comes with explicit language on products.”

That’s vital because twenty years of crop science shows the repeated safety of GMOs. The concern is that consumers will be alarmed and react negatively to products with a ‘warning label’ that patchwork-type laws would allow.

The GMO labeling compromise bill is the result of a full year of talks and negotiations between Republican and Democratic senators and shows “the bipartisan, compromise nature of the package, and cites as a key reason for the association’s support.”

The ASA anticipates the bill will come up for a vote this week. The ASA urges farmers to contact their Senators in support of this legislation.