New England Farmers Union’s member-written policy supports mandatory labeling of food, including information about any ingredients from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). As such, the organization opposes the voluntary standard set out in Congressman Pompeo’s, R-Kan., Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 (H.R. 1599).
Labeling efforts enable consumers to make informed choices about the sources, agricultural practices, and ingredients of the food they purchase at their local food co-op, farmers market, or supermarket. GMO labeling also provides critical protections for farmers and ensures transparency in the food system.
H.R. 1599 would prevent states from establishing labeling laws and would block existing state laws. Several New England states — Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut — have enacted such measures, and the Massachusetts Legislature is considering such a rule. The bill also restricts FDA’s ability to mandate national labeling laws, an authority that FDA currently holds.
“New England Farmers Union members strongly support conspicuous, clear consumer labeling,” said New England Farmers Union President Roger Noonan. “Transparency in our food system is a win for consumers and a win for farmers. In New England, where there is an increasingly higher percentage of direct-to-consumer sales, we need to preserve the trust that drives the farmer-consumer relationship.”