The American Bakers Association (ABA) thanks the Senate Agriculture Chairman Senator Pat Roberts for introducing a proposal to establish a national uniform standard for labeling GMO products.
“ABA commends the Chairman’s diligent work with Ranking Member Stabenow to try and find a viable compromise, but time has run out, and bakers and their suppliers need a uniform labeling standard,” said ABA President and CEO Robb MacKie. “The clock is ticking on the compliance deadline for Vermont‘s new labeling law and several other New England states have, or are considering, competing labeling requirements. A baker in one state could potentially have four or five segregated distribution systems just to serve the New England region. It is completely unworkable and unnecessary.”
The baking industry is struggling to comply with Vermont’s new labeling law that goes into effect July 2016. Some bakers are evaluating whether it is worth serving the Vermont market at all, while others have already incurred multi-million dollar packaging costs to ensure they have compliant packaging. The operational disruptions to the baking industry’s finely-tuned distribution network are just starting to be examined. Particularly troubling is that even in Vermont, not all foods will be treated similarly.
“We have passed the deadline for bakers to make multi-million dollar decisions on how they will comply. It is absolutely critical that Congress take immediate action and prevent a patchwork of state labeling laws that will add significant cost to American families’ grocery bills each year,” added MacKie.