Industry Proposal Would Bar GE Food Labels

A new legislative proposal drafted by the food industry that would make it impossible for any state to require labeling of genetically engineered food reveals how far some big companies will go to hide basic information from their own customers, Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said today.

POLITICO published a draft of the bill today. It shows that the food industry wants to bar states from requiring GE labels on food and to limit the Food and Drug Administration’s ability to compel food companies to use GE labeling.

“Clearly, this is an industry that will stop at nothing to hide from its customers basic information on what’s in their food,” said Cook. “If this proposal were to become law, it would make it impossible for any state to require labeling of GE foods, even if an overwhelming majority of its residents demand it.”

The industry proposal would also block any attempt by states to make it illegal for food companies to put a “natural” label on products that contain GE ingredients or to claim that all GE ingredients currently on the market are “safe.”

Maine and Connecticut have already passed laws that require GE labeling, and Connecticut has prohibited GE ingredients in foods labeled “natural.” More than 20 other states will consider GE labeling laws in 2014.

It would also change federal law to limit when FDA can compel companies to disclose the presence of GE ingredients.

“We want the right to know what’s in our food, and states are moving to give us that right,” said Cook. “Food companies should be giving us more information about their food, not denying us the right to make the best choices for our families.”

Consumers in more than 60 countries already have the right to know whether their food contains GE ingredients.

For more information on GE labeling, visit:

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