Though previously confined to individual states, the discussion about food labeling and what consumers need to know about their food has ballooned in recent years. That's why a new group stepped out on Thursday to advocate for a larger, national change in the way foods are labeled – and, in part, attempt to refocus the conversation on GMOs' track record.
The group, called the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, is head up by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the National Corn Growers Association. Nearly 30 additional organizations are also part of the coalition.
The groups place the burden of finding a national solution to GM labeling squarely on the shoulders of Congress.
"A federal solution on GMO labeling will bolster consumer confidence in the safety of American food by reaffirming the U.S. Food & Drug Administration role as the nation's foremost authority on the use and labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients." said Martin Barbre, NCGA president.
Related: Group Criticizes Plan to Block State GMO Labeling Initiatives
According to the FDA, GMO ingredients in food present no negative health effects. The Coalition hopes to create consistency in labeling policies and find a labeling solution that will "protect consumers and ensure the safety of food ingredients made through the use of modern agricultural biotechnology."
Specifics of the plan:
• Eliminate Confusion: Remove the confusion and uncertainty of a 50 state patchwork of GMO safety and labeling laws and affirm the FDA as the nation's authority for the use and labeling of genetically modified food ingredients.
• Advance Food Safety: Require the FDA to conduct a safety review of all new GMO traits before they are introduced into commerce. FDA will be empowered to mandate the labeling of GMO food ingredients if the agency determines there is a health, safety or nutrition issue with an ingredient derived from a GMO.