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If GMOs are so safe, why can't they be labeled on our food?

Submitted by: ck55


Expert response from Andy Hedgecock

Former Director, Scientific Affairs, DuPont Pioneer

Wednesday, 16/04/2014 12:35

In the United States, food is labeled in accordance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy, which is the same for foods derived from biotechnology as it is for conventional foods. For example, when a food product derived from biotechnology differs in composition, nutritional value or end use, that difference must be noted on the label, just as it is with other foods (e.g., margarine vs. low-fat margarine).


As you point out, GMO labeling isn’t about safety. Nearly two decades of science and rigorous global review have demonstrated that biotech crops are safe. Therefore, GMO labeling is about how food is marketed, and there are already voluntary food marketing programs in place. For example, a few food manufacturers and grocery store chains have decided to label “non-GMO” for product or market differentiation purposes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Organic Program is a recognized example, but the USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service also offers process-verification services for companies looking to validate a marketing claim about specific aspects of how a food is grown or processed.


We agree with the need to supply consumers with the information they’re asking for. We’re continuing to have conversations across the value chain and with a variety of stakeholders to figure out how we best meet the request for more information in a way that is scientifically accurate and helpful.