IDFA joined with 35 other associations and business groups this week in voicing opposition to proposed legislation that would require special new labels for foods and beverages containing ingredients derived from genetically engineered (GE) plants. In a letter to Congress, the groups urged legislators to oppose The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, introduced last month by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR).
The business groups, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the American Retailers Association, said the mandatory labeling would confuse and alarm consumers, especially since federal agencies and world health organizations have concluded that these products are safe for consumption.
“The Food and Drug Administration, the federal agency with primary responsibility for ensuring the safety of our food, has declared these ingredients to be of no material difference to conventional ingredients and, therefore, does not require special labeling,” the letter said. “In fact, FDA has stated that the labeling of products to indicate the presence of ingredients derived from genetically engineered plants would be ‘inherently misleading’ to consumers.”
The World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and other scientific organizations also have evaluated the safety of genetically engineered ingredients and concluded that they are safe.
For more information about the bill or genetically engineered ingredients, contact Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.