Coalition Letter to House Leadership Supporting S. 764 (Roberts-Stabenow Biotech Labeling Legislation)

Monday, July 11, 2016 - 12:00pm

Dear Speaker Ryan, Minority Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader McCarthy, and Minority Whip Hoyer,

We, the undersigned organizations, represent all segments of the U.S. food chain—producers, cooperatives, agribusinesses, processors, seed makers, handlers, food and feed manufacturers, restaurants, lenders, and retailers. It is vitally important for the House to call up and pass S. 764, the Senate-passed legislation on biotech disclosure, in order to avoid the economic costs of a patchwork of state laws that will directly impact consumers, farmers, and the entire food value chain.

We strongly support S. 764, which builds on H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, introduced by Representatives Pompeo and Butterfield, which the House passed a year ago with overwhelming bipartisan support. The issue of biotech disclosure is one of the most significant issues that the agriculture and food industry has faced in recent years. The U.S. agriculture and food industry creates over 17 million jobs, representing nearly 1 in 10 jobs. This very system—which produces the most abundant, the highest quality, and the most affordable food in the world—will be threatened with large economic costs without a national uniform solution on this issue.

The application of biotechnology to agricultural production has led to increased crop yields, decreased use of pesticides, and lower food costs for consumers. Congress must ensure we avoid senseless mandates that will thwart agricultural advancement and hurt consumers—especially those low income Americans who can least afford to pay more to feed their families. We strongly support S. 764 and ask that you schedule floor time and provide expedited consideration of this important and timely legislation. We pledge to work with Members on both sides of the aisle to ensure quick passage of this bipartisan proposal.