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Fifty-five members of Congress urge FDA to label GE foods

9 commentsBy Caroline Scott-Thomas , 14-Mar-2012

Fifty-five members of Congress have written to FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg in support of a petition urging the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods and food ingredients.

The bipartisan letter , signed by 45 US representatives and 10 US senators, supports a legal petition filed by the Center for Food Safety in October 2011, which has gained more than 850,000 signatures. The Just Label It campaign is a coalition of about 400 organizations and businesses, and claims it has generated more comments than any other food petition in FDA history.

The Congressional letter argues that the FDA’s stance that these foods are not “materially” different from unmodified foods, and should therefore not be labeled, is flawed, as it only takes into account differences that can be perceived by the senses.

“At issue is the fundamental right consumers have to make informed choices about the food they eat,” the letter reads.

“Labeling foods doesn’t imply a product is unsafe or will be confusing to consumers as some may argue. The FDA requires the labeling of over 3,000 ingredients, additives, and processes; providing basic information doesn’t confuse the public, it empowers them to make choices. Absent labeling, Americans are unable to choose for themselves whether to purchase GE foods.”

It adds that polls have shown that many consumers are surprised to learn that GE foods are not labeled – and that consumers want the federal government to require labeling.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, 94% of all soy, over 90% of sugar beet and canola, and 88% of corn in the United States is now grown using GM seeds. In processed foods, the Grocery Manufacturers Association has estimated that more than 75% of foods on the market contain GMOs.

In a recent guidance document, the FDA said: “The FDA has no basis for concluding that bioengineered foods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way, or that, as a class, foods developed by the new techniques present any different or greater safety concern than foods developed by traditional plant breeding.”

9 comments (Comments are now closed)

You're going to pay somewhere along the line...

You can eat crap and pay a doctor to alleviate the pain due to damage from poor diet. Or, you can pay up front for REAL FOOD, stay healthy and not pay doctor bills. It's a choice all people make: What shall I put in my own mouth? All people deserve to KNOW WHAT IS IN THEIR FOOD, so the choice is an informed one.

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Posted by Lydia Freund
26 March 2012 | 04h53

We are awake and fully aware

First of all, e-coli tainted food originates mainly in non-organic, CAFO situations. Go read the historical data/reports - bet you'll find very few organic origins. Secondly, if your logic is "if there's no science - why label it?" then you need to wake up. Why would anyone in their right mind want to ingest something that hasn't been scientifically proven to be safe? We could be waiting a very long time for INDEPENDENT safety studies, of which I'd believe hands down over any studies financially supported by the manufactures. I'm not willing to feed GE food to my children without having any reliable scientific assurance that it is safe. If food prices skyrocket - so be it - we'll adjust. The alternative could be health care costs, which if I'm not mistaken is already happening. It's all a trade-off. Let's see, pay more for food and less for health care - I, for one, would be happier with that option. If our government didn't give GE foods carte blanche to begin with and, instead insisted on verifying their safety first, maybe we wouldn't be in this situation. GE should not be in a GRAS classification where long term, adequate safety testing is not required. My vote is and always will be LABEL IT and let's see what happens. My support and appreciation goes out to those members of Congress who are supporting this bill. Thank you! (And, BTW, cross breeding is different from Genetic Engineering. Cross breeding is done between closely related species as could occur naturally. GE can combine DNA from totally unrelated species - something that would never happen in nature and, therefore, could/should never be considered "substantially equivalent".)

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Posted by VC
21 March 2012 | 15h20

To All the Nay-Sayers

To all of you that are against the right to know labeling of GMO foods, I suggest you do your home work and do the research about the GMO monopoly. Genetically modified as we are talking about has nothing to do with "seedless watermelon", or extra "large tomatoes". We are talking about a serious situation regarding Monsanto and how they changed the DNA of the seed of a product and by doing so have injected Glysophan into the seed to make it a bug resistant product. The chemical known by it's familiar name is "ROUNDUP", the famous weed killer. When that became a botched experiment they are now injecting "Agent Orange" into the corn seed as a deterrent to the resistant bugs that eat the corn. Do you want to eat RoundUp?? Do you want to eat Agent Orange? Research has proven the many health risks that are involved eating GMO's. Not only are there the serious health risks, but there are major consequences to the soil, the environment and to our water supply. What will it take for you realize you have become the lab experiments and the Guinea Pigs for the Chemical Companies and Monsanto?? I suggest before you nay-sayers continue your mission of denial, do your research and try to understand all the implications that GMO's have on our lives. The only way to know you are not eating a GMO product is to buy organic or a product that states "NO GMO's". The organic industry has it's watchdogs to protect the integrity of a product and that's a lot more I can say of our government's protection policies. To understand more about GMO's, go to the web site of "The Institute of Responsible Technology or Google them. I think that will be an eye-opening experience for all the nay-sayers out there. In the mean time i will do every thing I can to insist on the right to know what I'm eating! Wouldn't you??

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Posted by nurturechef
20 March 2012 | 17h14

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