New Hampshire’s House killed a bill Wednesday that would have required genetically modified foods to be labeled.
The House voted 185-162 to kill the bill, despite supporters’ arguments it is time for states like New Hampshire to lead on the issue regardless of the federal government’s position.
Supporters argued New Hampshire residents have a right to know whether their food is produced with genetic engineering, but critics said the federal Food and Drug Administration has not mandated the labeling because it determined the foods are safe.
“The reality is most of us are living every day with the benefits of genetic engineering,” said Rep. Linda Lauer, D-Bath. She said insulin has been genetically engineered since 1982. Prior to that insulin was taken from the pancreas of farm animals, she said.
Lauer said the labeling required under the bill would not tell consumers what was in the food, only that it had been genetically engineered. She said the label wouldn’t provide accurate information about the foods. For example, genetically engineered beets are used to produce sugar, which is a pure chemical compound. Despite its purity, any foods containing the sugar would have to be labeled, she said
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