House Committee on Agriculture approves Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015.

  • As previously covered on this blog, Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G. Butterfield (D-NC) co-sponsored the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, which would prohibit states from mandating the labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods.  The bill also would create a voluntary certification process for companies that want to claim that their products are “non-GM.”
  • On July 14, 2015, the House Committee on Agriculture engaged in a markup and approved an amended bill that included changes intended to enhance coordination between FDA and USDA in the GM regulatory approval process.  The amended bill also would establish a public website (administered by USDA) to list all GM crops intended for use in food applications.  USDA would administer the voluntary certification program to permit the use of “non-GM” claims on food labels.
  • As anticipated, industry members and groups such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) have praised the House Committee’s action, maintaining that such legislation will prevent the creation of a 50-state patchwork of GM labeling laws that could create widespread confusion and add significant costs to food production.  Consumer groups such as the Center for Food Safety (CFS) continue to oppose the bill, stating that the measure will block consumer access to information about the composition of their food.  The bill now moves to the House floor for a vote, although it remains to be seen whether this will occur before the August recess.