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Promoting agriculture in the public interest, including advocating for agricultural literacy and an understanding of where our food comes from, is a core component of my job as the chief agricultural official in my state. . . .Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) is attempting to bring forward a common sense solution to consumers through the introduction of a national voluntary labeling system for bioengineered foods.
It may seem counter-intuitive for state officials to support a bill that preempts state law, but . . .state by state patchworks of biotechnology food labeling laws are chaotic for commerce, difficult to enforce and will deliver many unintended consequences. Mandatory, state-level rules on labeling of foods produced using biotechnology will decrease the diversity of foods on our shelves and the cost will ultimately be placed on the plate of families.
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. . . .The Roberts bill approach will allow the market to determine and respond to the true desires of consumers as they vote with their dollars.
. . . .Food and agriculture should not be asked to address present and future challenges of growing human populations, increasing climate and weather challenges to food production, and the rapid transit of pests and pathogens brought by global trade and travel, with 100 year-old tools and science.
Roberts’s bill is a common sense solution to an important national issue. I urge all members of the United States Senate to support it.
Merrill is the commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food, a mother, grandmother, and lifelong dairy farmer. She is the vice chair of the Rural Development and Financial Security Committee of NASDA.
Read full, original post: State officials call for Roberts GMO labeling bill