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ST. LOUIS – The National Corn Growers Association urged the Senate to act quickly to pass a uniform, national food labeling standard in light of the recent Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, highlighting the safety of genetically modified ingredients and the importance of biotechnology.

"NCGA and Congress agree: consumers should have access to food choices that are safe, nutritious, abundant and affordable," said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair John Linder, a farmer from Edison, Ohio. "Congress, and only Congress, can now prevent a costly and confusing patchwork of state labeling laws from taking effect next year. The Senate must act now to avoid the negative consequences inaction will surely bring for consumers and farmers across the country."

Experts told the Committee that the overwhelming scientific consensus is that genetically modified organisms are safe for consumers and the environment. Experts also testified on the vital role biotechnology plays in modern agriculture, allowing farmers to produce higher yields on less land, using fewer pesticides and water, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"Today's testimony underscored the fact that biotechnology is not only safe, but an important part of creating an efficient, affordable and reliable food chain. NCGA urges the Senate to move forward on common-sense legislation for a uniform, national food labeling standard," said Linder.

In July, legislation passed the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support that would create uniform national food labeling standards. If the Senate does not follow suit, Vermont's GMO labeling law will go into effect next July. Meanwhile, other states and localities have passed or are considering state-level labeling mandates. Such a patchwork of state and local laws will create upheaval in our national food supply, hurting consumers and farmers alike.

For more information, visit www.ncga.com.

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