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Businesses Object to Plan in Senate to Prohibit GMO Labeling, Call for National Labeling Law

For Immediate Release: 
February 29, 2016
Contact Info
Bob Keener

WASHINGTON, DC (February 29, 2016)—Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry is holding a hearing to markup a bill similar to a House bill that would prohibit states from mandating labeling of genetically modified ingredients in food. In response, the American Sustainable Business Council and other business leaders issued statements declaring their opposition to the House bill.

“Consumers have a right to know what is in their food and businesses need to be able to take advantage of existing market trends. That is why the Senate should adopt Senator Boxer’s national labeling law, which provides the most transparent, market-based approach to meeting consumer demand. A national labeling law will ensure that businesses provide consumers with vital information and are not allowed to obscure their products’ contents,” said Richard Eidlin, Vice President of Policy for the American Sustainable Business Council.

"People care about what they eat. They’re interested in learning more about how their food is grown and made, so it’s no surprise that polls show that 90% of people support the labeling of GMO foods. The cost to businesses of providing this information is not exceptional, as label changes are a regular cost of doing business in packaged food companies," said Matthew Dillon, Director of Agricultural Policy & Programs at Clif Bar & Company.

"Junk food manufacturers and the pesticide industry want to keep us in the dark about the food we are eating. They’ve pulled out all the stops and kicked their propaganda machine into high gear to ram this terrible law through Congress. Americans overwhelmingly want to know if the food they are eating has been genetically modified to withstand high doses of pesticides, and must be vocal to stop this bad legislation,” said David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner’s.

“This proposed bill is nothing more than an attempt to prevent Vermont and other states from enacting common sense labeling legislation,” said Daniel Barlow, the Public Policy Manager at Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. “Allowing companies to voluntarily label their products will create more confusion for families shopping at their local grocery stores. Our state is leading the way in food system transparency and this misguided legislation is aimed at torpedoing the good work accomplished by legislators and the people of Vermont.”

The American Sustainable Business Council advocates for policy change and informs business owners and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, sustainable economy. Through its national member network it represents more than 200,000 businesses and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors.