Efforts to make the FDA finally require mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods appear to be well on their way to becoming a reality. In just over one month, more than 350,000 people have signed on to support the Just Label It – We Have the Right to Know campaign.
The campaign's sponsors filed a legal petition with the FDA last month urging that labeling of all genetically engineered foods be mandatory, stating in a release, "By not informing consumers that they are purchasing GE foods, the public is misled in purchasing misbranded foods."
The California Department of Food and Agriculture estimates that nearly 80 percent of all processed foods contain genetically modified ingredients; 93 percent of soy, 86 percent of corn and 93 percent of cotton and canola planted in the U.S. in 2010 were genetically engineered. The FDA is currently deliberating on whether or not to approve the first genetically modified animal to enter the food supply—AquAdvantage salmon.
Supported by close to 400 companies and organizations including the Organic Trade Association, United Natural Foods, Inc, Organic Valley, National Cooperative Grocers Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Earthbound Farms, the Just Label It campaign is seeking 500,000 signatures and will hold a conference call on Friday, November 18th to discuss the campaign's next goals.
The FDA approved deregulation of genetically modified foods in 1992 and has since rejected efforts to require labeling despite a growing body of research linking GMOs with significant health and environmental risks. The U.S. is the only developed country to not require labeling of GMOs.
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