Expert response from Naomi Stevens
Global Head of Market Acceptance for Seeds, Bayer Crop Science
Friday, 04/10/2013 17:45
Technology developers including Bayer, together with food companies represented by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, are campaigning against state labeling laws due to the flawed nature of the language being proposed in them.
Our industry supports science-based, accurate and informative product labels that provide consumers with information relevant to the health, safety and nutrition of their food. Current state GM food labeling proposals include arbitrary requirements and exemptions that do not deliver this.
For example, the ballot initiatives in California (Prop 37, defeated) and Washington (I-522), mandate special food labels and signs for foods containing GM ingredients when they are sold in supermarkets but exempt restaurants from providing the same information about GM ingredients in their foods.
Additionally, foods imported from foreign countries would be exempt if manufacturers simply claimed they were exempt.
A patchwork of state GM labeling laws creates concerns around interstate commerce of food products. Several state attorney generals have already noted this flaw in these proposed GM labeling laws and have publicly stated they could be “unconstitutional” if enacted.
These are only a few of the flaws that our industry does not support in these state-proposed GM labeling schemes.
Our current food labeling system in the United States is predicated on “Truth in Labeling” and already provides food manufacturers with the ability to label foods as “USDA Organic" if they choose.