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Greetings,

     Yesterday morning, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on H.R. 4432, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (SAFLA).  My ultimate goal with this legislation is to ensure that Kansans are able to go to the grocery store and get affordable, safe, and nutritious food for their kids and family.  A recent study showed that proposed local GMO-labeling laws could raise the average family’s food bill by as much as $500 a year.  That is something many of our friends and neighbors cannot, and should not have to, afford.

     We heard from six witnesses, including Stacey Forshee, Kansas farmer and mother of three.  She testified that without the passage of SAFLA “my livelihood as a farmer and cattle rancher risks being undermined by non-scientific, unsubstantiated accusations.”  As any hard-working Kansas farmer would confirm, Stacey also said “First, and most importantly, as a mother I would never allow my children, or any other children, to consume a product I knew was unsafe. Second, as a hard-working American family who lives off the land and the products it provides, we would never want a product we grew or raised to enter the food supply if the product was unsafe.”  I sat down with Stacey to talk with her about testifying for the first time.  Below she speaks about the hearing, and why the recent battles over state labeling laws have been “eye-opening and frightening”:
 

 ​Stacey Forshee and I speak after the Hearing on H.R. 4432, the
Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. 
 
     The bi-partisan bill, co-sponsored by 37 members of Congress, does three simple things.  First, it requires the FDA to review all new Genetically Engineered (GE or GMO) products to ensure they are not harmful to you or your family.  This is new.  Today, these foods have no required review by any governmental entity.  Second, it creates a system for labeling that is consistent with our nation’s tradition of requiring food labels only for health or safety reasons.  Finally, it protects consumers’ “right to know,” by confirming that truthful labels identifying products as “GMO-Free” or "organic" will be permitted in every state.  You can listen to my opening statement from the hearing here:
 

Opening statement from the December 10 House
Energy & Commerce Committee Hearing.

 
     Click here to watch the full hearing, including the full testimonies from Michael Landa, Director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the Food and Drug Administration; Tom Dempsey, CEO of the Snack Food Association (SFA); Alison L. Van Eenennaam, a Ph.D in Animal Genomics and Biotechnology from U.C. Davis; and Stacey Forshee.

     SAFLA will ensure that everyone’s right to know whether their food contains GMOs is preserved while keeping our food both affordable and safe.  I look forward to continuing to advance this legislation in the months ahead.

     Sincerely,

     Mike Pompeo
     Member of Congress



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