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Lawmakers Reintroduce Bill to Label Genetically Engineered Food

Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) reintroduced legislation Thursday to label genetically engineered (GE) food.

The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to label GE food and foods containing GE ingredients.

“Consumers have a right to know what is in the foods they eat and parents have a right to know what they are feeding their families,” Boxer said.

“We cannot continue to keep Americans in the dark about the food they eat,” DeFazio said. “More than sixty other countries make it easy for consumers to choose. Why should the U.S. be any different?”

In 1992, FDA stated that it had 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.

FDA currently supports voluntary labeling in which food manufacturers indicate whether their products have or have not been developed through genetic engineering, “provided such labeling is truthful and not misleading.”

“The public wants more information about the food they are buying and how it’s grown,” said chef Tom Colicchio, who joined the lawmakers and advocates from Just Label It, Food Policy Action, Environmental Working Group and Center for Food Safety at a press conference announcing the bill. “I applaud Sens. Boxer and Blumenthal and Rep. DeFazio for their leadership and urge their colleagues to join them in standing up for the 93 percent of Americans who want to know whether their food has been genetically modified.”

To date, the Just Label It campaign has collected 1.4 million signatures on its petition to FDA seeking mandatory labeling of GE foods.

© Food Safety News
  • Al Frazier

    These idiots should perfect the lab testing processes BEFORE they expand GMO labeling requirements. The testing processes for GMO presence are flawed and a VERY in-exact science. Try sending identical samples to 5 different labs and you will receive 5 VERY different test results. For that matter, send the SAME sample 10 times to the SAME lab and you will receive ten DIFFERENT test results. This entire non-GMO certification process is a scam being sold to the American consumers for the sake of higher food prices. IMO

    • Gary

      The reality is that most testing won’t identify GMO derivatives or foods derived using GMO sources. It really is haphazard the way the non-GMO Project goes about certifying foods. Being the point person in my company in dealing with our customers who seek the non-GMO Project certification I see it first hand. There are moving targets and in reality it creates lots and lots of work for folks like us. I don’t mind the bill like this but it really needs to be written well. A poorly drafted bill will only create lots of headaches with little end benefit to anyone.

  • battleshiphips

    Forced labeling of foods containing GMO ingredients would require far more oversight, testing and enforcement, which would increase food costs far more than voluntary labeling of GMO Free foods.

    • Sadie

      We have voluntary labeling now.. do any of them label that they contain GMOs? NO They do NOT! KILL the #DarkAct Pompeo’s #HR4432! and SUPPORT the Boxer/Defazio bill for Mandatory Labeling!
      ✎ ☏ http://tinyurl.com/SignStopDarkAct

      and no, it won’t cost but a tiny bit more…
      You can buy a lot of labels for the nearly $100,000,000+ the AgriChemical Cartel have spent fighting labels just in the last couple of years…

      If they remove the word “NATURAL” and replace it with “GMO”, they could save on 4 letters! Think of the all millions in costs savings! lol If they can label water as ‘Gluten Free’ they can label GMOs!

      Some common sense please.. 64+ countries have instituted mandatory GMO labeling without significantly increasing food costs, and U.S. based manufacturers already label their genetically engineered food products for sale in other countries..

      GMO labeling will cost consumers less than a penny a day, new report says – Consumers Union

      Independent Study: Why Label Changes Don’t Affect Food Prices

      The Myth of GMO Labels Increasing Food Prices – BlueOregon

      Analysis by ECONorthwest, says costs of requiring GMO labeling- $2.30 per person annually.

      “Q: From a business perspective how hard would it be for companies to label the presence of GE ingredients in their products?
      A: It would not be hard at all. Companies change their labels all the time (including Dr. Bronner’s) and not once has that meant we raised prices to our customers. It’s so dumb. Further, U.S. food companies already label in 64 countries that require GMOs to be disclosed, including all of the European Union and Japan, and food costs have not gone up in those countries.”

      Mr David BYRNE European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection Proposal for a regulation on GM Food and Feed.
      “COSTS Some claim that costs will rise significantly due to our new labelling proposals. We do not believe this to be the case. This is confirmed by the experience so far: when the current labelling regime (based on DNA/protein) was introduced in 1997, it did not result in increased costs, despite the horrifying (double-digit) prediction of some interests. Similarly, when Norway introduced its current labelling regime (similar to the one now proposed), it did not provoke any price increase or disruption in trade.”

      The Myth of GMO Labels Increasing Food Prices http://ow.ly/ALOON

      GMO food and labelling: The cost question
      “The cost is he referring to is from a Cornell University study. Its author estimated mandatory GMO labelling will cost a family of four an additional $500 a year, on average. ****THE STUDY WAS FUNDED BY COUNCIL FOR BIOLOGY..**** DUHHHHHHHHHHHH

      • battleshiphips

        Voluntary labeling is for GMO FREE, for which the producers and consumers of assume all the costs of providing because it’s what they want.

        Your proposal forces the costs of labeling off on to the rest of us who don’t care if a food product is made with GMO ingredients. You want to eat GMO Free, go right ahead, it’s your perogative… but don’t expect me to cover the costs of YOUR food phobias and farming ignorance.

        And why are your pet Anti GMO sources good, but pro GMO (pro science) sources bad? Bias much?

        • Sam W

          Every product has a label of some sort, it does not cost more to make labels all you do is sit at the computer end make a change, it goes like this, Contains GMO, Contains NO GMO, that easy print the labels or pa ckaging that you use everytime anyway. If you have pachaging already made up as someone is bound to claim, make a sticker, very simple 2 or 3 words that is all you need. Contains GMO or Contains NO GMO.

          • battleshiphips

            Every dipwad that doesn’t know jack about farming and food production thinks labeling is as simple as the word processing and printing. NOPE, it’s about the segregation of crops from field to processing plant and the documentation at every step on the line, plus the costs that will be incurred by the trial lawyers association. For no nutritional or health reason at all. Just stupid fear based what if thinking.

          • Dale

            Yeah, because putting poison into the food at the Plant Level is nothing at all unnatural, as well as spraying with Pesticides.
            Hope your family is free of allergies, autism, ADD and other disorders

          • battleshiphips

            Sorry but your appeal to nature is a fallacy. That which is “natural” is not automatically good and that which is “unnatural” is not automatically bad.

          • Dale

            So yeah, I get it. You are a Monsanto Shill.
            Firstly, I never implied any of your assertions of wide sweeping generalities, but go ahead and continue to make ad hoc fallacy you strong point.
            Do you enjoy eating feces? Also not a good idea, but am sure you have some argument, Fallacy Person.
            Trying to argue with you would be a lesson in Fool Debate I do not need, but Thanks and Good Day!

    • Oginikwe

      It doesn’t cost more in Europe and since many of the companies subject to labeling in Europe are the same companies selling products in the US, your assertion doesn’t make any sense.

      • battleshiphips

        The US has the lowest food prices of any country. In. The. World. In the EU only 1% of food contains GMO ingredients, while in the US it’s 70%. This is why labeling had a negligent effects on costs in the EU. They don’t grow GMO crops there so they didn’t have to crash develop a sequestration program across all channels of the food transport, storage and production chain. Thinking it will work here like it did there is a foolish, even more so for no observable risk or harm.

        • Tiktok

          When the change in labeling took place for allergens, the company I worked for had over 400 products that required changes. We had to apply for an extension to use up all the labels that we had in stock, and even then, the cost of changing all of our labeling and getting the changes to fit was over $100k. Do I think it should be transparent. Yes, but like battleships says, almost everything you buy has a GMO derivative. Corn, soy, some rice. and wheat. Citric acid is derived from corn with GMO (except imported product)…where do you want to stop? Poorly written laws are what lawyers thrive on. This law is simply like chumming.

  • Sadie

    KILL the #DarkAct Pompeo’s #HR4432! and SUPPORT
    the Boxer/Defazio bill for Mandatory Labeling!
    Sign & Share! ✎ ☏ http://tinyurl.com/SignStopDarkAct

  • Oginikwe

    That’s the FDA for you.

    Medical Fraud Missing From Public Record:

  • Citizen

    This should have been implemented from the very beginning. Of course it would be very easy for the food manufacturers to declare GM Free whereas the case may not be so. Besides, environmental contamination with GM crops is much greater now than then because of the greater extend of land being cultivated with GM plants. The threshold level currently permitted may not be practicable to maintain. Countries, especially developing countries do not have the testing facilities to verify declarations. I have a sneaky feeling that there is something going on that the Frankenfood people have not divulged yet.

  • commonsensegrocer

    A “right to know” law seems like a good idea but this issue is far more complex than that. Much of the food we eat today has been genetically modified for decades. George Washington Carver is among the many scientists and botanists that have given us genetically modified foods. Insulin has saved millions of lives and is a GMO. We should let science should do what it does, the government should oversee and approve as deserved and that’s it. Period. The plethora of ridiculous labeling requirements due to the trend du jour is costly overkill and only lends credence to alarmists, the uninformed and those seeking to make a name for themselves. Unfortunately many CPG companies will end up supporting this legislation because a federal law on labeling will end up costing them much less than individual state laws.

    • Gerry

      I wasn’t aware of George Washington Carver’s work in the field of GMOs. Can you point me to some references on his discoveries?

  • SFactor

    It has never been about just labelling! It is about the known, Cancer causing agent, Glyhosate, sprayed right before Harvest, that is the lead in the astronomical rise in diseases, from Celiac to Gluten intolerance to endocrine disruptiions in an already compromised Biome. Farming fish and hormones/antibiotics in CAFO raised pork, poultry and beef products sent to other nations for processing, coming back to the Americas, for consumption vis a vis the Trade Agreements, is another point. Glyphosate is banned in over 160 countries worldwide, why is it Healthy to consume food that is sprayed with this toxic spray. DDT was banned, it should be totally removed from off- like sprays,and pellets with GMO corn that are fed to poultry, pork and beef contain this. If it comes processed from countries like India, Japan, and especially China, these foods will have feces in them. Trips rules in Trade Agreements, which supersede our own National Laws allow for contamination of all our food. Stop it Now! Just because it is packaged in US, as example does not mean it was processed there.