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New York Times’ writer addresses GMO labeling issue, leaves out the science

| | February 2, 2015
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

There are few industry debates as heated these days as the one about labeling foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.

And while interest groups and advocates wage war in state legislatures, on ballots and in Congress over what should be disclosed on product labels, products certified as not containing genetically modified organisms are proliferating on grocery shelves without any nationwide mandatory regulations.

Moreover, many manufacturers are nodding to the public debate, adding the phrase “non-G.M.O.” to their packaging without a verification process.

So if more companies elect to stick labels on their products stating that they are G.M.O.-free, whether verified or not, does that make the fierce policy debate increasingly moot? “It’s an interesting question,” said Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives at Consumers Union, which lobbies for mandatory labeling.

Related article:  An NYU panel debate on GMO labeling

The shift toward voluntary labeling has also led to a lot of consumer confusion, as different labels, organizations and agencies issue seals or stamps that attest to compliance with few, if any, uniform standards. In addition, food companies are tacking the words non-G.M.O. on items that would never be considered in need of such labeling.

Read full, original article: G.M.O. Labels for Food Proliferate Even as a Battle Over Them Rages

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