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Thursday, December 18, 2014
House panel urged to pass Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act
Farm Bureau member Stacey Forshee on December 10 called on Congress to help consumers understand the difference between real food safety concerns and marketing ploys by passing H.R. 4432, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. Forshee testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.
“As a hard-working American family who lives off the land and the products it provides, we would never allow a product we grew or raised to enter the food supply unless we knew it was safe,” Forshee said. A farmer and cattle rancher with her husband in north central Kansas, Forshee has seen firsthand the marked benefits of biotechnology crops, including higher yields over fewer tillable acres, reduced pesticide use and improved soil conservation.
The Forshees are not alone in seeing these benefits. Since 1996, more than 17 million farmers have added in excess of 110 million tons of soybeans and 195 million tons of corn to the world’s food supply. Farmers also avoided using 1.2 billion pounds of pesticide by choosing to grow genetically enhanced crops over conventional corn and soybeans.
Forshee praised the Food and Drug Administration’s science-based approach to labeling food products for safety, health and nutrition information. Labeling foods with biotechnology traits “will mislead consumers into believing such food products are materially different, create undue risk and should be avoided – all of which are scientifically false,” she said. Veering from FDA’s safe and proven approach would undermine the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers across the country, while doing nothing to further food safety, Forshee said.