US union urges Congress to find a meaningful compromise on biotech labeling

On behalf of nearly 200,000 family farmers and ranchers from a wide range of operations, the US National Farmers Union (NFU) is urging Congress to find a meaningful compromise on the federal biotech labeling debate.

President Roger Johnson today sent a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), highlighting the organization’s biotech labeling policy.

“NFU represents a range of producers, from conventional to organic and all practices in between,” said Johnson. “Our policy holds that the rights of both conventional and organic producers should be respected as Congress and regulatory agencies seek to address growing consumer demands for labeling. Any agreement should not limit the freedom of agricultural producers and processors to accurately advertise, label and promote products as non-genetically altered.”

Johnson noted that market demands, driven by consumers, have created growth and price premiums for producers growing non-GMO products.

“We urge that any compromise ensure that the growth we have witnessed is protected for the benefit of producers and consumers alike,” said Johnson. “NFU policy holds that thorough and accurate food labels are an important tool that helps consumers make informed decisions and allows producers to differentiate their products. Such labeling must be clear, consistent, and truthful.”

NFU has affirmed its confidence in the safety and benefits of agricultural biotechnology. At the same time, the organization reiterates its respect for producers who choose to practice alternative forms of agriculture.

“We appreciate the challenge you face as you try to balance those competing demands, while reconciling consumer preferences and consumer confidence in a labeling framework. This is no small task and we thank you again for your willingness to address this challenging question.

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