Newly appointed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue answered questions from members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters. Perdue was asked about food labeling and what the new administration might do regarding the matter. “Certainly we are not prepared to talk about the implementation of genetically engineered or biotech labeling, and that’s a complicated issue,” he said. “But I am pretty much a transparent guy who thinks the customer ought to know as much as they want to know. Now does that mean that every manufacturer has to put all that information on there?”
Some customers want to know every detail about the ingredients in a product they are buying while others only care about the taste. Perdue said the administration needs to find a way to get the consumer as much of the information they want because producers have nothing to hide. “We’re proud producers in the United States. We’re not ashamed of anything we do,” he said. “We think we put a very safe product on the table and shelves of grocery stores and we are happy for (consumers) to know everything we do about that.”
Perdue said USDA would announce labeling plans in the future as they have a responsibility to find a balance for the implementation of requirements. “So how do we balance it out without making food labeling on any small jar multi-pages because that would make it very difficult in the supply chain,” Perdue said.