GMO Update 101: The Latest Developments in GMO Labeling

GMO

Should it be mandatory to label genetically modified foods (GMO)? We have been keeping up with all of the GMO updates over the past few months and have recent news to share regarding these possible changes.

Food Industry

As the end of 2015 approaches, there is a potential change regarding GMOs on the horizon. The food industry wishes for GMO labeling to be voluntary, and there is currently a spending bill on the table that may have an impact the labeling. States would not be required to have companies disclose products that contain GMOs if the bill becomes a law.

Similar legislation was passed earlier this year, as detailed in our “Anti-GMO Labeling Law is passed by U.S. House” article. The Senate has not yet acted on this legislation, and many food companies and farm groups want Congress to step in. As of right now, Vermont would be the first state to require GMO labels next summer.

According to the article “Food Industry Pushing Halt to GMO Labeling by End of Year,” Claire Parker of the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food said, “What’s at stake for farmers and consumers without action is that American farmers and food companies will be faced with uncertainty.”

Many of the country’s largest food companies say GMO foods are safe and that labels would be misleading. They believe that the cost of GMO labeling will be passed onto the consumer.

According to the FDA, the GMOs on the market now are safe. In regards to the federal government’s stand on this issue, they do not support mandatory labels.

Supporters

Those in support of the labeling believe that the consumer has the right to know what is in their foods and what they are consuming. In addition to this, these supporters would like to work with the FDA to have a federal mandatory label.

Supporters of labeling are using television ads that are centered around the FDA’s recent approval of genetically modified salmon. There has been a large amount of press coverage around this recent decision.

A Case for Both Sides

Food companies want the labeling of genetically modified foods to be voluntary. These companies believe the foods are safe and the labels would be misleading to consumers. In contrast to this, supporters want to know what their food is made up of and have a choice.

Do you think it should be mandatory for genetically modified foods (GMO) to be labeled? Stay tuned for more information about this trend!