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Q:
Why do the proponents of nonGMO foods want labeling requirements for GMO foods. It would be more efficient if the organic food labeling model was followed, ie. those foods which are raised nonGMO and certified by a protocol would have nonGMO labeling. Then the consumer would assume correctly that all other foods would have some GMO ingredients which they do. As consumers if it is not certified Organic we assume it is does not meet Organic standards.
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A:Expert Answer

Thanks for your comment. Private non-GMO labeling programs do already exist. In fact, as you may have seen in the media recently, the original Cheerios brand cereal will now be labeled as non-GMO. You might be interested in the following insights from Cathy Enright, Executive Director of the Council for Biotechnology, which addresses voluntary GMO labeling; an excerpt is included below:

 

“…The US has a history of reserving the use of mandatory labels to convey information to consumers about the safety and nutrition of a product.  We support mandatory labeling of food including GMO food, when a food raises a safety or health issue, for example, to alert sensitive populations to the potential presence of an allergen. But mandating a GMO label would tell the consumer nothing about a product’s safety or nutrition value.

 

As such, we cannot support mandatory labeling of a food just because it was produced with biotechnology.  We believe this would convey to consumers that food made from crops grown by farmers who plant our seeds is somehow less safe, nutritious or of inferior quality to its non GM counterpart.  Two decades of scientific study and regulatory review around the world simply do not support this.

 

That said, we agree completely with voluntary labeling of food, including for the presence or absence of GMOs.  Such voluntary labels are often used by food manufacturers seeking to promote their product over another’s.  But by law, such labels cannot be used to make claims that are false or misleading to consumers including about the safety of a product.  Today, you can find voluntary, marketing labels, such as USDA Organic, being used to promote non GMO foods.”

 

If you have additional questions after reviewing this answer, please ask.

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