In fact, you’ve answered your own question in a way. There is no need for mandatory labeling in the U.S. because biotech food is safe to eat. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures that food labels are truthful and not misleading. In fact, the FDA would not allow a warning label on foods produced using biotechnology, because they are safe to eat. (FDA has information regarding its assessment of the safety of “Foods from Genetically Engineered Plants”). Our surveys since 1997 have consistently shown that a majority of Americans support the FDA’s policy on labeling foods produced using biotechnology. The FDA policy requires special labeling on biotech foods only when genetic engineering would introduce a trait not normally found in the conventional food. In that case the food would need to indicate the presence of an additional protein, nutrient profile or presence of an unexpected allergen, not whether the food was produced using biotechnology. FDA’s policy ensures that labels describe the facts about the product, not a production process, and also ensures that claims about the absence of biotechnology in food production do not falsely imply the non-biotech product is safer or otherwise superior. The bottom line is that all foods have to meet the same FDA or U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) safety standards, whether they are produced conventionally, using biotechnology or produced organically.
QThere are currently 61 countries worldwide that label food that has been genetically engineered. Why would food need a warning if it was safe to eat?
Question submitted By: SM1791There are currently 61 countries worldwide that label food that has been genetically engineered. Why would food need a warning if it was safe to eat?
I have a bag of apples upc code is 8 83391 00381 8 is this a gmo productThe label says it is certified organic by Washington State Department of Agriculture. I just read in your article that the number 8 signifies GMO and the number 9 (which is not...
Posted on May 6, 2018
Response from: Leah McGrath, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist • on May 18, 2018
The UPC (Universal Product Code) is a barcode (which has numbers beneath it) which identifies the product and the manufacturer. I think you may be thinking of the PLU (Price Look Up) code which is the 4 or 5 digit number on produce used to link a price with an item. The PLU code is a voluntary program that assigns numbers to produce items, this helps cashiers identify the correct price for a produce item. Growers/Packers can use the number "9" prefix to this 4-digit numeric code to... Read More
Posted on May 10, 2017
Response from: Erin Bell, Ph.D., Compositional Biology Lead • on May 11, 2018
The simple answer is that 20+ years of composition assessments of GMO crops have demonstrated that crop composition is not appreciably affected by the GM process (1). In addition, data collected through that time have indicated that general factors such as the growth environment can contribute to notable variation in component levels (2). Plant agglutinins (or lectins) and amylase inhibitors are examples of anti-nutritional compounds that may be present in crops. The relevance of such a... Read More
Posted on March 18, 2018
Response from: Community Manager, Moderator for GMOAnswers.com • on May 4, 2018
We invite you to check out a similar question on the topic of GM food labeling that has been answered here.