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CRA Applauds Introduction of Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act

Corn Refiners Association Applauds Congressmen Pompeo and Co-sponsor Rep. Butterfield for Introduction of Bi-Partisan Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act

Legislation Would Protect Food Producers and Consumers by Eliminating Confusion and Advancing Food Safety

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2014

CONTACT: David Knowles
(202) 534-3494

WASHINGTON, DC – The Corn Refiners Association today expressed full support of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, introduced by Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and co-sponsored by Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC).  The bill would establish a much needed federal standard for the labeling of food and beverage products containing ingredients produced using biotechnology.

“We commend Congressmen Pompeo and Butterfield for offering a bi-partisan solution that would address this important issue at the federal level,” said John Bode, President and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association. “The potential for confusion from a patchwork of state labeling laws of the kinds being pursued would cause significant logistical challenges for food and beverage manufacturers, and only result in increased costs for consumers at the checkout line.”

Agricultural products produced with biotechnology are a key advance toward the goals of producing more food at lower cost and with significantly less environmental impact,” Bode stated.  “It is unfortunate that activist groups are opposing this innovative technology with no credible science to back up their arguments.”

The Pompeo-Butterfield bill would protect consumers and ensure the safety of food ingredients made through the use of agricultural biotechnology.  A single, nationwide federal approach would:

  • Eliminate Confusion:  Remove the confusion and uncertainty of a 50 state patchwork of safety and labeling laws and affirm the FDA as the nation’s authority for the use and labeling of foods containing ingredients produced through biotechnology.
  • Advance Food Safety:  Require the FDA to conduct a safety review of all new traits before they are introduced into commerce.  FDA would be empowered to mandate the labeling of foods containing ingredients produced through the use of biotechnology if the agency determines there is a health, safety or nutrition reason for doing so.
  • Inform Consumers: The FDA would establish federal standards for companies that want to voluntarily label their product for the absence of or presence of food ingredients produced through the use of biotechnology so that consumers clearly understand their choices in the marketplace.
  • Provide Consistency: The FDA would define the term “natural” for use on food and beverage products so that both manufacturers and consumers have a consistent legal framework that would guide food labels and inform consumer choice.

Facts About Biotechnology

  • Many of the most influential regulatory agencies and organizations that study the safety of the food supply, including the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, Health Canada, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Academy of Sciences, have determined that ingredients produced through the use of biotechnology are safe and there are no negative health effects associated with their use.
  • Biotechnology adds desirable traits without using chemicals, so that food is more plentiful.
  • Biotechnology is not new. In fact, it has been around for the past 20 years, and today 70-80% of the foods we eat in the United States, both at home and away from home, contain ingredients produced through the use of biotechnology.
  • Crops grown using biotechnology require fewer pesticides and less water, and they keep production costs down. In fact, biotechnology helps reduce the price of crops used for food, such as corn, soybeans and sugar beets by as much as 15-30%.
  • One in eight people among the world’s growing population of seven billion do not have enough to eat, and safe and effective methods of food production, like crops produced through biotechnology, can help us feed the hungry and malnourished in developing nations around the world.

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

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The Corn Refiners Association is a proud 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 biotechnology.  We are also an advocate for common sense policy solutions that enhance the safety of crops grown using biotechnology 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.

The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, ethanol, starch, bioproducts, corn oil and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein and fiber.

Visit us on the Web at www.Corn.org

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