As genetic engineering evolves, are non-GMO food labels meaningful?

Non GMO Project logo

A group called the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation has petitioned the [FDA] to prohibit use of the term “Non-GMO” on food …. [T]he Non-GMO Project …. [created] a standard definition for foods that don’t contain GMOs. The initialism “GMO” stands for genetically modified organisms ….

In its petition, ITIF makes the definitional argument, questioning why the “apparently allowable ‘traditional cross-breeding methods’—are these ‘natural’ or not? If not, why are they not? …. why are they acceptable and the methods used to bioengineer ‘GMOs’ are not?” ….

With gene editing and other forms of genetic engineering now capturing the public’s attention, companies in the biotech space have an opportunity to clear up consumer confusion and provide some much needed context. Regulators are also grappling with definitions. As Mike Miille, CEO of the synthetic biology company Joyn Bio put it, “the semantics around some of this [language] is…evolving in real time.”

Related article:  Tropicana's non-GMO label 'is marketing, not transparency'

The Non-GMO Project has no governmental authority and its non-GMO label isn’t a legally defined term …. and its third party certification system is based on standards of its own design …. But food labels have never suffered from a lack of vague, misleading terms [so] the FDA likely won’t be moved to take action. But as …. regulatory agencies revisit definitions of genetic engineering …. this could be the moment the FDA takes aim at non-GMO too.

Read full, original article: Time To Get Rid Of ‘Non-GMO’ Argues ‘Biotech-Backed’ Group

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