Minnesota Soybean CEO Tom Slunecka joined stakeholders at a meeting Feb. 24 in St. Paul with staff for Senator Amy Klobuchar to discuss the potential of genetically modified food labels.
Slunecka joined Senator Klobuchar’s State Director, Ben Hill and her Legislative Assistant for Agriculture and Food Policy, Anne Knapke. This meeting took place to gather feedback and insight from industry professionals and leaders the day before the Senate Agriculture Committee reviews Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) recently introduced voluntary GMO legislation in Washington D.C.
“Klobuchar’s staff did a nice job listening to the groups concerns,” Slunecka said. “Even though she has always stood behind us, the best way for her to support agriculture and the food industry is to work behind the scenes and help the majority leader build bipartisan support.”
Along with Minnesota Soybean, approximately 15 large food manufacturers, retailers and agriculture organizations joined in on the discussion.
“I made sure to voice the fact biotechnology has helped agriculture make great strides when it comes to environmental improvements and production practices,” Slunecka said. “We also can’t lose sight that the USDA and FDA has deemed these products safe for consumers. We are only asking our senators to back the decisions that have been made by these trusted sources.”
Without prompt Congressional action to pass a unified, national labeling standard, farmers and food companies will be forced to alter supply chains and methods of production in order to comply, and multiple studies have shown this could increase grocery costs by hundreds of dollars for families, something many low-income Americans simply can’t afford. A unified standard would eliminate state-by-state labeling laws, which is costly and confusing.
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