Milk, Meat From GMO-Fed Cows Won’t Need to Be Labeled
In a compromise reached today in the U.S. Senate, milk and meat from cows fed genetically-modified (GMO) crops won’t have to be labeled as GMO food.
The National Milk Producers Federation applauded the move: “This is an important, common sense provision,” says Jim Mulhern, CEO and President of the National Milk Producers Federation.
“Milk and meat are not genetically modified just because the cows consume biotech feed, just like humans are not genetically modified by consuming foods derived from biotechnology.”
The bill would allow companies a number of labeling options to disclose what is in products, including quick-response (QR) codes, 800-numbers, package labeling and websites. And by setting a national standard, the measure would pre-empt state labeling laws.
Perhaps most importantly, a national standard removes the stigmatization that comes with explicit language on food products, says Ron Moore, a soybean grower from Roseville, Ill., and first vice president of the American Soybean Association.
“We’ve seen time and time again that regardless of the repeated proven safety of GMOs, consumers react negatively when presented with a product containing a warning label,” said Moore. “If consumers panic and run from these products based on false stigmatization, companies are forced to reformulate away from this safe and affordable technology. Not only would this result in food more expensive food for consumers, but prices for soybean producers would fall sharply.”
NMPF urged the Senate vote on the measure before Vermont’s GMO-labeling law goes into effect July 1. Even if it does, the House has adjourned for the July 4th holiday. Both must pass the measure before it can be sent to the President for signature.