House Agriculture Committee approves H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act
On July 14, the House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015. First introduced by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), the legislation has evolved through bipartisan discussions between the Agriculture Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee. The amendment in the nature of a substitute, offered by Rep. Davis (R-IL), for H.R. 1599 will provide clarity and stability in the marketplace through national uniformity regarding marketing claims for products grown using the latest agricultural production technologies.
“I appreciate the collaborative efforts of the Energy and Commerce Committee in getting this bipartisan legislation completed and approved today. H.R. 1599 is the solution to an urgent and growing problem. The current patchwork system of varied labels interferes with the free flow of goods across the country, posing a real threat to interstate commerce and typically results in inconsistent and confusing information for consumers. Creating a uniform national policy regarding biotechnology labeling is the free market solution that will allow consumers access to meaningful information, create market opportunities for those on the production and processing side, and will facilitate future innovation,” said Chairman K. Michael Conaway.
“Consumers increasingly want to know more about where their food comes from and how it is produced. I think H.R. 1599 satisfies that demand while also recognizing what we know about the safety of the foods that our farmers produce. The bill is a workable solution that will alleviate the potential mess of 50 states with 50 different labeling schemes,” said Ranking Member Peterson.
“As a parent, I believe it is important to have national and reliable food labels and this bill does that by allowing for an effective, uniform labeling system that consumers can trust. Without a national standard, we risk the spread of misinformation and increased food costs. Just as consumers can go to the grocery store and identify organic products, this bill will allow them to do the same with GMO-free products. I want to thank Chairman Conaway and Congressman Pompeo for their work on this bipartisan bill to protect consumers and promote transparency,” said Rep. Rodney Davis, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research.