Grocers urge Legislators to Stop Food Labeling Bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Massachusetts Grocers urge legislators to stop food labeling bill Massachusetts, January 14, 2014
The Massachusetts Grocers Association today urged legislators to “say no” to forced labeling of Genetically Engineered (GE/GMO) foods—legislation that may come to a vote this week. The grocers said labeling would cause unnecessary harm to the economy by adding costs for Massachusetts grocers, consumers, and food producers such as breweries, wineries and retail merchants.
The grocers added that required labeling will also impact the state budget as the costs to create and maintain a state-run labeling program could run as high as nearly half a million dollars per year. John Dumais, President and CEO of the NH Grocers Association said, “This legislation mandating GE labels on food products just for Massachusetts is unnecessary, as consumers already have a choice of what they buy.
They can already purchase “Certified Organic” or “Non-GMO” foods if they prefer.” He added that the labeling bill, HB 660, creates confusion where none is needed, is contrary to scientific facts, and will add costs for Massachusetts residents at the grocery store. Leading regulatory and health associations including the Food and Drug Administration, American Medical Association, National Academies of Science, World Health Organization, and United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization have all signed off on the safety of genetically engineered food. “Ninety-three percent of Massachusetts’s food is imported,” Dumais continued.
“Forcing companies to produce special labels just for Massachusetts isn’t practical–they will either stop selling to us or substantially increase their prices. Our choices at the grocery store would be reduced and labels would mislead consumers to believe they should be concerned about a product’s safety when that’s simply not true.
On top of all that, it would cost consumers hundreds of dollars more per year for food,” he said.