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The Food and Drug Administration has refused to consider requiring the labeling of biotech foods, affirming its longstanding policy that there’s no legal basis for mandating such disclosure on products that are essentially the same as their conventional versions, writing in its decision:
…while we appreciate consumer interest in the labeling of food derived from genetically engineered plants, consumer interest alone does not provide a sufficient basis to require labeling disclosing whether a food has been produced with or without the use of such genetic engineering. Absent a sufficient basis to require such labeling, the agency cannot compel food manufacturers to label their foods with information regarding whether such foods were produced through the use of genetic engineering.
The FDA decision came in denying petitions filed by the Center for Food Safety, an advocacy group that has long fought to stop or restrict the commercialization of agricultural biotechnology, and the Truth in Labeling Coalition.
The Center for Food Safety petition had argued that the use of biotechnology amounted to a “material” difference that merited mandatory labeling, “if it results in a change to a food at the molecular or genetic level” and a “significant share of consumers would find it relevant to their purchasing decisions.”
The group’s senior attorney, George Kimbrell, said it was reviewing its legal options. “FDA has robust authority to require the labeling of GE foods and any decision to the contrary is legally wrong and contrary to good governance and the overwhelming public will.”
To see the FDA responses to the different petitioners, click on the name of these groups: Center for Food Safety; Truth in Labeling Coalition; Food and Water Watch (salmon) Earth Justice and others (salmon) .
Read full, original post: FDA refuses to require GMO labeling