I almost fell out of my chair in shock yesterday when I read an email proclaiming that all the big ag commodity groups and food groups had formed a new group (Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, www.CFSAF.org) in support of a federal solution to GMO labeling. Wow. That is cool. I think. If they can pull it off – and make the FDA the nation’s foremost authority on everything GMO.
Yes, this is a subject near and dear to my heart, as a farm boy and a foodie. One who has written columns about the subject as well as run stories of farmers and farm wives who are telling stories (see links below) of safe food, which includes GMOs. I’ve covered the biotech seed industry for 30+ years, and I know first hand that this valuable and safe technology is truly needed to help feed the world.
This labeling issue has been such a tough, proposition – and lawsuit-filled road pitting biotech plant science companies defending their soundly researched science versus anti-biotech, anti-agriculture activists – from the northeastern U.S., to California and Washington, to Hawaii and numerous states in-between. And it’s been a costly fight.
The coalition believes a federal GMO labeling solution is needed that will protect consumers and ensure the safety of food ingredients made through modern agricultural biotechnology. Their goals are spot on: eliminate confusion, advance food safety, inform consumers, and provide consistency instead of a mishmash of individual state GMO rules.
Other related stories:
“Think Different” October column, “Crazy GMO debates”
“Think Different” November column, “Food is emotional”
December 2013 story “GMO food labeling gains consumer support”
February 2014 cover story, Telling farm stories, personally
“Think Different” February 2014 column, “Open the food conversation”