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Answers

Question

Why should GMOs be labled

Submitted by: gmo resercher


Answer

Expert response from Community Manager

Moderator for GMOAnswers.com

Tuesday, 03/18/2014 17:57

This is a great question. Cathleen Enright, executive director for the Council for Biotechnology Information, answered a similar question. Here is an excerpt:

“There are a number of reasons consumers may prefer to purchase non-GMO. Many of those reasons have been expressed on this website, but concern about food safety or health shouldn’t be one of them. This is why we support voluntary marketing labels for those companies who want to distinguish their non-GM food from their GM food, and so their customers have a choice. We will continue to highlight available non-GMO labels here, e.g., USDA organic and other non-GM private-label programs. Our support for choice is also a major factor in why we are providing information and answering questions about GMOs. We want consumers to have the facts so they can make up their own minds.”

 

According to a 2001 FDA draft industry guidance document, “In the 1992 policy, FDA also addresses the labeling of foods derived from new plant varieties, including plants developed by bioengineering. The 1992 policy does not establish special labeling requirements for bioengineered foods as a class of foods. The policy states that FDA has no basis for concluding that bioengineered foods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way, or that, as a class, foods developed by the new techniques present any different or greater safety concern than foods developed by traditional plant breeding.”

For more information about FDA’s biotechnology policy, please visit: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodScienceResearch/Biotechnology/default.htm.

Greg Conko, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, also provided a response regarding voluntary labeling. Here is an excerpt:

 

“Some consumers wish to avoid foods with genetically engineered ingredients, so food producers have increasingly responded to this market demand by labeling food products that do not contain them. There are many thousands of voluntarily labeled, non-GE foods available in grocery stores throughout the country, in stores as varied as Whole Foods Markets and Walmart. From just 2000 to 2009, nearly 7,000 new food and beverage products were introduced in the United States with explicit non-GE labeling. And those numbers continue to grow.

 

“In addition, groups ranging from Greenpeace to the Organic Consumers Association to the Non-GMO Project have created websites, print pocket guides and even smartphone apps that help shoppers identify “GE-free” products. And certified organic foods may not be produced with genetically engineered ingredients. So, in cases where a “GE-free”-labeled product is unavailable, shoppers can choose certified organic products instead. In short, consumers have at their disposal an abundance of information directing them to affirmatively labeled non-GE products, providing ample choice in the marketplace.”

 

Please let us know if this answers your question.