JULY 14, 2016 – ARLINGTON, VA – Food Marketing Institute (FMI) issued the following statement from President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin who applauds the U.S. House of Representatives passage of legislation that would create a national standard for labeling foods with ingredients derived through biotechnology, thereby encouraging more transparency in the grocery aisles than ever before and enhancing U.S. shoppers’ ability to make informed choices with consistent, comprehensive information. Sarasin said:


“Today, the House of Representatives agreed that a national labeling standard is critical to U.S. grocery shoppers’ desire to seek out consistent, accurate information regarding product ingredients. FMI’s consumer trends data indicate food retail customers are confident in the safety of the food they buy in their local supermarkets, but are also increasingly interested in the origins and ingredients of their food. This legislation avoids the consumer confusion and crippling limitations to interstate commerce that already are erupting under the current Vermont law and would be multiplied further by a developing patchwork of differing and therefore confusing state GMO labeling laws.  One single national labeling standard circumvents all disadvantages that a multitude of conflicting state GMO labeling laws would inevitably create.


“This legislation eliminates the need for warehouses to segregate food product based on varying state requirements and allows small business owners to continue sourcing the variety of products their customers want to buy.


“The grocery industry welcomes this historic legislation that will both set a precedent for clarity in commerce and open up new avenues for providing food shoppers access to the information they want about the foods they enjoy and in the manner that is most convenient for them to access it. Every vote today was a vote in support of consumer confidence in the food supply.”


“FMI commends the House approval of this important GMO labeling legislation and we urge President Obama to sign this needed bill into law as expediently as possible. FMI and its member companies join with our partners in the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food to praise this important House action in support of this legislation.”