The official voter information guide on California’s Proposition 37 GMO labeling initiative inaccurately states that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics “has concluded that biotech foods are safe”.
The statement, which appears in the ‘Argument Against Proposition 37’ section of the guide, was taken from a 2006 position statement from the Academy, which has since expired.
As of now, the Academy doesn’t have a position on the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods, but is expecting to release one in 2013, said president Ethan A. Bergman in a statement released at the Academy's annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) this week.
“California's voters are being misled to believe the nation's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals is against Proposition 37, when in fact, the Academy does not have a position on the issue.”
The inaccurate information has “led to confusion and an inaccurate portrayal of in the media and health-care community of the Academy and its state affiliate, the California Dietetic Association”, said the Academy.
Statement was taken from 2006 expired position
Asked why the Academy had only now brought attention to the issue and not when the voter guide first came out, a spokesman told FoodNavigator-USA: “We only recently became aware of the error.”
He added: “The Academy had a position that was published in 2006 that addressed GMOs. That position is now expired, but the statement was unfortunately taken from that 2006 expired position.”
Asked whether the new position - when it comes out in 2013 - will take a view on Prop 37 and GMO labeling as well as the safety of biotech foods, he said: “The new position is currently under development. It hasn’t been determined yet if it will include the issues raised in prop 37.”
The Academy (formerly the American Dietetic Association) is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.
Click here to read the official Prop 37 voter information guide.
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