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American Soybean Association (ASA) reports:

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) introduced the "Genetically Engineered Food Right-To-Know Act" last week; legislation that would require nationwide labeling of foods containing biotech ingredients.

ASA's policy is to support current Food and Drug Administration policy, also endorsed by the American Medical Association, that labels on biotech products where there are no safety, nutritional or health differences are unwarranted and provide no useful information to consumers.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), with whom ASA has partnered on many biotech-related issues, posted the following statement on the BIO website last week:

"Although we haven't seen the language of the proposed bill, it's important to note that the biotech industry does not oppose food labeling.

"However, we have opposed proposals that require food labels that could confuse consumers into believing that foods containing biotech-derived ingredients are somehow different in safety and nutritional characteristics when compared to conventional or even organic foods, when this is not the case.

"We have also supported a voluntary and market-driven approach to food labeling. Labels that identify foods as 'certified organic' or 'Non GMO' provide the necessary information for consumers who are looking for such products. These are existing programs that have proven to be successful in the marketplace.

"Unfortunately, advocates of mandatory 'GMO labeling' are working an agenda to vilify biotechnology and scare consumers away from safe and healthful food products."
ASA will keep members updated on this legislation as it progresses.

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