Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0255
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Full Text of SR0255  99th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Certain consumers have expressed a desire to know,
3via food product labeling, whether they are purchasing or
4consuming food that contains ingredients that were developed
5through bioengineering; and
6    WHEREAS, The United States Food and Drug Administration,
7the American Medical Association, the World Health
8Organization, the United States Department of Agriculture, the
9National Academy of Sciences, the United Nations Food and
10Agriculture Organization, and the European Food Safety
11Authority, among others, have all determined that genetically
12modified crops grow in the same fashion as those that are not
13genetically modified and that foods produced with genetically
14modified ingredients are safe for human consumption; and
15    WHEREAS, The United States Food and Drug Administration's
16"Statement of Policy - Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties"
17was first published in 1992 to address relevant scientific,
18safety, and regulatory issues prior to the introduction of new
19plant varieties into the marketplace; and
20    WHEREAS, Genetic modification technology has been used to
21produce food products for more than 25 years; and



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1    WHEREAS, Seventy to eighty percent of the foods consumed in
2this country are genetically modified whole products or contain
3genetically modified ingredients; and
4    WHEREAS, Consumers in Illinois have a right to know the
5contents of the food they consume; and
6    WHEREAS, Any law passed in the State of Illinois regarding
7food labeling would likely be preempted by similar federal
8legislation presently being considered in our nation's
9capital; and
10    WHEREAS, A national clarification is needed to prevent the
11unneeded confusion for consumers, retailers, and manufacturers
12and to prevent an assortment of local and state regulations
13attempting to accomplish a similar goal; and
14    WHEREAS, A patchwork of local and state mandatory labeling
15laws and regulations will require manufacturers and retailers
16to make immediate and ongoing changes to their operations in
17order to comply with such requirements, which will undoubtedly
18result in higher food prices; and
19    WHEREAS, Requiring separate production runs,
20state-specific tracking units, segregated warehousing,
21trucking, and other logistical complexities to comply with a



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1puzzle board of local regulations and state-specific
2requirements will all result in higher food prices; and
3    WHEREAS, The National Organic Program housed within the
4Agricultural Marketing Service of the United States Department
5of Agriculture excludes the use of bioengineered crops or
6ingredients for growers wishing to sell their products as
7"organic"; consumers seeking to avoid food containing
8ingredients developed through bioengineering may do so by
9purchasing food labeled as "organic"; and
10    WHEREAS, Many food marketers, vendors, retailers, and food
11producers already differentiate various food products that do
12not contain ingredients developed through bioengineering, by
13voluntarily affixing "non-GMO" or similar labels on products;
14third party certifiers, such as the Non-GMO Project, create
15standards for farmers, processors, and manufacturers in
16sourcing non-bioengineered crop sources so that consumers who
17make a decision not to purchase food containing ingredients
18developed through bioengineering can avoid such products;
19therefore, be it
21ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we urge Congress to
22direct the clarification of national food labeling standards;
23and be it further



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1    RESOLVED, That we show our support for meaningful consumer
2education and for measures that provide consumers with a
3reasonable means of identifying food products that may or may
4not have been developed using bioengineering; and be it further
5    RESOLVED, That we encourage food manufacturers to further
6study ways to inform consumers about food choices, as long as
7the information provided is truthful and not misleading; and be
8it further
9    RESOLVED, That we urge all Illinois State agencies to
10suspend any and all action with regards to state-specific food
11labeling requirements until guidance is received from the
12federal government.