Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods [January 18, 2001]   [open pdf - 43KB]

From the Document: "Congressional interest in the labeling of genetically modified foods (GM foods) has been rising. Congress took no action on the two bills introduced into the 106th Congress to mandate labeling of all genetically modified crops (GM crops) and foods, but will likely debate other proposals in the 107th Congress. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its current GMfood labeling policy in May 1992. At that time, the agency determined that it would regulate GM foods no differently than foods created by conventional means because FDA considered them substantially equivalent to traditional foods and decided that no special label would be needed. In the intervening period, extensive public debate surrounding the genetic modification of foods has led some consumers to call for labeling of such products. On January 18, 2001, FDA published a draft guidance for industry on voluntary efforts to label GM foods. A label would permit consumers to choose to avoid purchasing or consuming them. At the same time, the agency proposed a rule that would make mandatory the current voluntary consultation process whereby the industry would have to formally notify the agency 120 days before releasing a food product onto the market and would have to supply certain safety test data to FDA. The federal government's role in regulating these foods is explained in CRS Report RL30198, Food Biotechnology in the United States: Science, Regulation, and Issues. Many oppose labeling because to make such labels 'truthful and not misleading' all commodities would need to be segregated and tested, and the label would not have room to impart information that could not be distributed in other ways. This report focuses specifically on views surrounding the labeling of GM foods. It will be updated periodically as new legislative proposals are introduced."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS20507
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
National Agricultural Law Center: http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/crs/
Media Type:
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