GMO food labeling has been required in the U.S. for a year. Have consumers noticed?
Genetically modified foods have been on supermarket shelves since the 1990s, but they’ve only required a label for the last year. The USDA says implementation and compliance with the program have been “successful,” while experts suggest consumers aren’t noticing the labels.
Take a look at the back of the cans and boxes in your cupboards and you’re likely to see some that say “contains bioengineered food ingredients.”
A year ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began mandating labeling for foods that are genetically modified or contain GMO ingredients.
The national standard was endorsed by some farm industry groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation. But the use of “bioengineered” in place of the more widely known term “GMO” upset a coalition of food retailers and nonprofits that sued the USDA. A federal court largely upheld the law.
A year into mandatory labeling, some consumer groups and grocery stores complain the labels are too small, too confusing, and too timid by leaving off the term “GMO” that’s most familiar to the public. Some experts suggest consumers aren’t noticing the labels, let alone using them to inform their purchasing decisions.
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