UPDATE: The Senate Ag Committee has now advanced the bill and OFBF members are asked to support its passage.
Ohio Farm Bureau members are asked to contact Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman to urge them to support a national GMO food labeling standard bill.
Next week, the Senate is expected to take up legislation proposed by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas. Under his draft proposal, a national, voluntary GMO labeling standard would be established and pre-empt state labeling requirements such as Vermont’s, which goes into effect July 1. The House passed its version, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, in the summer.
Having a national, science-based standard will protect consumers from misleading labels and higher food prices and “protect farmers and the food industry from the patchwork of state labeling laws being stitched together, which would stigmatize a valuable agricultural technology and have a chilling effect on future innovation,” according to American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall.
Ohio Farm Bureau members are encouraged to join their counterparts across the country who are now taking part in a phone-a-thon that will drive calls into U.S. Senate offices in support of Roberts’ legislation.
Farm Bureau members should dial 866-464-6633 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Once the operator patches the call through, OFBF members are asked to deliver the opening statement listed below, followed by a statement about the impact to farmers of voluntary food labeling.
Those who prefer to send a letter or email to their senator should follow this link to take action.
As a member of Ohio Farm Bureau, I am calling to ask you to pass a uniform, national food labeling standard for products made with GMOs so that Vermont’s state labeling law is not allowed to harm farm families like mine.
- More than 90 percent of U.S. corn, cotton and soybeans is produced using biotechnology. If there are increasing requirements that biotech foods carry what amounts to a warning label, farmers will lose access to a beneficial technology that makes up $64 billion worth of corn, $38 billion worth of soybeans and nearly $8 billion worth of cotton.
- Access to current biotech traits helps me resist pests, disease and drought. It is helping me grow more food using less land, water, fuel and pesticides. And there are more beneficial traits in the pipeline — if we don’t pull the rug out from under the market for biotech products.
- With impending state labeling laws taking effect this summer, it is now time for Congress to act! Without congressional action, consumers will be left with a confusing labeling scheme that will increase food costs and limit choice. A 50 state patchwork of GMO labeling laws would mislead consumers, raise the price of groceries for American families and do nothing to advance food safety.
- The House of Representatives passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R.1599) July 23, 2015. We need the Senate to follow and pass a bill now. We cannot have a confusing state-by-state approach.