Some states require the labeling of Genetically Modified Organism products in food, but the Bloomington-based Illinois Farm Bureau doesn't think Illinois should be one of them. President Philip Nelson, who served on the USDA's first two biotechnology committees, says labeling is already an extensive process . He says the extra GMO information is unnecessary.
"We like to think that after you have these events being approved by the FDA, EPA, and to some degree even USDA, they've went through rigorous testing," he says. "We believe that the science is on our side."
Nelson says there will be hearings in Illinois to discuss GMO labeling, and they will allow organizations to gain an understanding of the approval process. He says agriculture needs to be at the table during these discussions. Nelson also says he has spoken with the American Medical Association in Chicago, and the two organizations agree that labeing products as organic is enough to differentiate them.
Nelson also encouraged Congress to pass a farm bill as soon as possible. He says livestock producers and several other farming and food stamp programs are suffering from the indecision.
"I can't stress the importance of all of the programs that are touch points within the farm bill are going to be impacted if we don't get this taken care of in fairly short order," he says.
The Illinois Farm Bureau has spoken out from the beginning against the House version of the farm bill and the decision to split its two key parts.
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