The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has long since taken passive stance towards GMO foods, claiming that GMO foods are safe and no different than non-GMO counterparts. This attitude has translated to a inactive FDA view on GMO food labeling, too.
But in light of recent indications that so many of us want GMO products to be labeled, there was hope that the FDA might finally side with the consumers the organization is charged to protect.
No dice, Green Monsters.
Last week, at a hearing on Capitol Hill, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg stated that the FDA will “soon re-assert that it’s unnecessary to mandate labels for foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients.”
Hamburg stated that the proposed guidance supporting voluntary labeling would be issued by the FDA soon. She claimed that, despite the evidence that GMO foods shouldn’t really be claimed as safe for human consumption without more extensive testing, there’s really nothing different about GMO foods and, in essence, there’s no reason for the FDA to get involved: “The way FDA has for many years interpreted the law and it has been supported by the courts is that mandatory labeling is appropriate and required when there is a fault claim or misbranding. The fact that a food contains GE ingredients does not constitute a material change in the product.”
So changing the genetic makeup of something (food or not) doesn’t change it? Um, does anyone else see something wrong here?
This decision by the FDA is baffling, until we remind ourselves that it’s often the “experts” making the decisions that have a vested interest in the foods that are deemed “safe” or unnecessary for further regulation. It’s gross to think that corporate dollars may have more to do with the FDA’s decisions on GMO foods than what consumers want and need, but it has and can happen.
No matter what the FDA says, continue to avoid GMO foods, Green Monsters – label or not, these foods probably aren’t doing your health any favors.
Image source: Raw Story / Creative Commons