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Ernst Statement on Bipartisan Biotechnology Labeling Solutions Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) today released the following statement after voting in support of the bipartisan Biotechnology Labeling Solutions bill:

“Americans today spend less of our disposable income on food than every other country around the globe, and we must not take this for granted. In fact, a recent study showed that the potential impact of mandatory state labeling laws could raise the cost of food for the average family by over $1,000 per year. Those demanding this mandatory state level labeling must be mindful of the middle and low income folks just trying to get by from paycheck to paycheck. Additionally, our companies that are forced to comply with inconsistent food labeling would add unnecessary costs to their operations and ultimately raise the price for consumers.

“It’s imperative we stop the state-by-state patchwork approach to food labeling laws to prevent consumer confusion and avoid additional costs at the grocery store. While this is not a perfect bill, it’s an important step forward to mitigate the impact on hardworking families in Iowa and nationwide.

“The bipartisan Biotechnology Labeling Solutions bill would have taken the initial steps to create a national solution and preempt state level efforts to mandate the labeling of food products that contain ingredients derived from biotechnology. While I am disappointed this legislation did not move forward today, I will not stand by and allow this state level forced labeling to continue which would disparage food production practices that are proven to be safe, and increase food costs for families that can least afford it.”

Senator Ernst previously supported Committee Chairman Pat Roberts’ (R-KS) Biotechnology Labeling Solutions bill at a Senate Agriculture Committee markup. The legislation passed out of committee with bipartisan support.