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The food industry has drafted a bill intended to preempt state mandatory GMO labeling laws by substituting a weak, watered-down federal “solution” that would limit the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s ability to require mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food ingredients.
Tell the FDA: U.S. Consumers Want Mandatory GMO Labeling Laws, Not Watered-Down, Voluntary Rules!
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which represents more than 300 food manufacturers and trade groups, and companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, General Mills, Nestle, Unilever and others, spent millions of dollars to defeat GMO labeling initiatives in California and Washington State.
Now, fearful that states like Vermont, Oregon, Colorado and others will pass mandatory GMO legislation, similar to laws passed last year in Connecticut and Maine, Big Food wants to cut a deal with Congress and the FDA. A deal that will provide no meaningful protection for consumers, and hand industry yet another free pass to poison and pollute.
As part of the food industry’s plan, the FDA would finalize its 2001 voluntary guidance for GMO labeling and rule against mandatory labeling laws at both the state and federal levels.
The GMA’s bill also calls for the FDA to allow the use of the word “natural” on products that contain GMOs. On January 6, the FDA rejected a court request to define the word “natural,” claiming it would be a long and complicated process, and that the agency has more pressing issues. The move could be a sign that the FDA will cave to the food industry’s demands to allow GMO foods to be called natural.
More than 60 countries have banned GMOs, or require mandatory labeling of foods that contain GMOs. Yet here in the U.S., consumers are denied this same basic protection.
Consumers have been clear. More than 90 percent of us want mandatory GMO labeling laws. No voluntary schemes. No watered-down regulations. No compromises.
The FDA made the wrong decision in 1992 when it ruled that genetically engineered foods were “substantially equivalent” to non GE foods. It’s time for the FDA to protect consumers, not corporations.