Will GMO food labels ease consumer fear and bring biotechnology ‘into the limelight’?

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Image: U.S.D.A., Adobestock

There is …. a debate amongst GMO supporters about whether GMO foods should be labeled. Some supporters believe GMO food labels are costly and unnecessary, while others advocate for transparency by using labels ….

To address this food fight, Congress passed the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, which President Obama signed into law in July 2016. That bill established national standards for mandatory labeling of foods containing GMO ingredients.

However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture was given two years to determine the exact rules and regulations for the GMO labels. Instead of requiring the labels to use now more-widely known words like “GMO” and “genetically engineered,” [Secretary Sonny] Perdue’s Department of Agriculture has created label proposals using less familiar terms like “BE” and “bioengineered.”

Related article:  Viewpoint: 'Regulatory creep'—How the FDA's evolving rules hindered the introduction of gene-edited animals

It appears that  Perdue’s Department of Agriculture is attempting to avoid or “tiptoe” around the words “GMO” and “genetically engineered.” But should they be so afraid? Probably not.

As Mark Lynas, an …. opponent-turned-proponent of GMOs, stated, “People are increasingly scared of GMOs precisely because the industry is fighting a battle not to tell people which foodstuffs contain them.”

Thus, Lynas believes putting GMO labels on foods …. will “get biotechnology out of the shadows and into the limelight where it belongs.” He adds, “If we truly believe that this technology has so much potential …. Labels can be our friend.”

Read full, original article: Food Fight: The Debate over GMOs and Food Labeling

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