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GMO Labeling

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the labeling of foods.  It is FDA’s policy to require labeling of any food, which differs significantly in composition from conventional counterparts. These differences can include nutrient, taste, smell, texture or preparation characteristics. The difference itself must be included on the label.  Foods produced with GMOs are not different in composition from non-GMO foods. Because GMOs are a breeding method used to develop a crop and not a characteristic of the food itself it therefore does not fall under FDA labeling requirements. 

The use of mandatory labeling of foods produced with GMO technology could imply to consumers that they are somehow less safe or inferior to non-GMO foods when in fact GMO allows farmers to produce crops as safe and nutritionally equivalent and often with environmental benefits. Such labeling would say nothing about the food’s safety but would increase the cost of food needlessly. Hundreds of research studies have proven that GMO foods are just as safe, or perhaps safer, than their conventional counterparts. 

Food manufacturers are allowed to voluntarily include GMO labeling of food and some do if they believe there is a marketing advantage to do so. Consumers who want a choice as to whether they purchase non-GMO foods can do so by selecting products with the USDA Organic label, which contain non-GMO produced crops.

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