Keep close tabs on developing trends

by Dan Malovany
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One of the key issues gaining steam at the state level involves G.M.O. labeling requirements. Such labeling issues were raised in more than 20 states. Some in California and Washington were narrowly defeated while Connecticut and Maine passed initiatives, but both have triggers that require other states to pass similar laws before implementation will occur. Such efforts concern Tom Dempsey, president and chief executive officer of the Snack Food Association.

“Efforts to mandate G.M.O. labeling conflict with science and would create more bureaucracy while opening the door for new, frivolous lawsuits,” he said. “This would mean higher food costs that would force farmers and food companies to implement costly new labeling, packaging, distribution and recordkeeping operations or switch to higher-priced, non-genetically engineered (non-G.E.) ingredients, like organics, in order to sell food in each state. For crops like corn and soybeans, obtaining sufficient non-G.E. crops would be a significant challenge.”

Mr. Dempsey noted the S.F.A. is urging Congress to consider legislation to restrict states from enacting laws that would result in a patchwork of different labeling requirements. Such requirements would confuse consumers and “create havoc for food manufacturers and retailers alike,” observed Mr. Dempsey in the upcoming issue of Snack World magazine.

Producers of wheat-based products might want to keep close tabs on developing trends.

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