American Soybean Association President and Delaware farmer Richard Wilkins called on Senators from both sides of the aisle to come together and vote to advance the Biotech Labeling Solutions Act (S.2609), legislation from Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts that would establish a nationwide standard for the labeling of foods containing GMOs, and make the disclosure of that information mandatory if such information was not widely available in the marketplace within three years.
In a statement, Wilkins pointed to benefits of the bill from both a Republican and Democratic perspective:
'The bill on the floor of the Senate today reflects a significant compromise and a consistent effort to find middle ground, and we applaud Chairman Roberts for his efforts. We know that transparency is something that consumers demand, and this bill pushes our industry to provide that information with a series of clearly-defined benchmarks. If we don't hit the benchmarks set in the legislation within three years, we will be required to do so. Until then, the bill enables food companies to provide information on biotech content in the manner and with the technology that best fits the profile of their customers, whether that's via app, quick response code, website, or traditional 800-number. What's more, the technology allows companies to provide additional product information like labor practices, sourcing and fair trade information, traceability data, food safety and recall updates, content on local and regional producers and more. S.2609 is a bill that strikes a rare balance when it comes to regulation by combining a free-market approach that allows our businesses to innovate with regulatory teeth should it become necessary. It's a piece of legislation that combines both Republican and Democratic principles and we urge Senators from both parties to vote yes later today.'