WASHINGTON, June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today issued the following statement from Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO, on the bipartisan agreement in the Senate on legislation to set a uniform national food labeling standard and promote greater disclosure of genetically engineered ingredients:
"This is the commonsense solution for consumers, farmers and businesses. The Senate needs to pass this bill quickly. This bipartisan agreement ensures consumers across the nation can get clear, consistent information about their food and beverage ingredients and prevents a patchwork of confusing and costly state labeling laws.
"We thank Senators Roberts and Stabenow for their hard work and leadership to find the solution that can give consumers more information about genetically engineered ingredients and prevent different state labeling laws. It is critically important that Congress approve this legislation as soon as possible because Vermont's mandatory labeling law is already having negative impacts."
"America's food industry fully supports the disclosure provisions in this legislation. GMA members are committed to making available the product information that consumers want. We are pleased to see that the legislation enables transparency, clarity and consistency in disclosure and reflects the wide variety of ways that consumers will get this information about the foods they buy.
"The disclosure requirement in the Senate legislation is consistent with the new reality: shoppers want more information about their food than is ever possible to provide on a label. That's why GMA created the innovative SmartLabel™ technology initiative.
"SmartLabel™ will put detailed information right at the fingertips of consumers about thousands of products so they can find what they want to know – and when they want to know it. The industry is committed to providing that information through SmartLabel™ and to updating it quickly. SmartLabel™ leverages digital technology and smart devices to bring consumers information about hundreds of product attributes. It enables them to get much more information than ever before.
"Consumers can access SmartLabel™ at home or on the go while making their shopping list – and when they are in the store. It can enable them to learn more about how their food is produced, how animals are treated and how fish was caught – more information than can fit on a package label.
"Over 35 companies already are committed to the SmartLabel initiative, and by mid-June, more than 500 products are using SmartLabel™ and are listed on the SmartLabel.org website. Thousands more products are likely to be added in the next several weeks. By the end of 2017, projections are that over 34,000 products will to be using SmartLabel™. This includes 22,000 products disclosing information about genetically modified ingredients and 6,500 personal care, household and pet care products."
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is the trade organization representing the world's leading food, beverage and consumer products companies and associated partners. The U.S. food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry has facilities in 30,000 communities, generates $1 trillion in sales annually, contributes $415 billion in added value to the economy every year and is the single largest U.S. manufacturing industry with 1.7 million manufacturing workers. Founded in 1908, GMA has a primary focus on product safety, science-based public policies and industry initiatives that seek to empower people with the tools and information they need to make informed choices and lead healthier lives. For more information, visit gmaonline.org.
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SOURCE Grocery Manufacturers Association