FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Claire Parker
(Washington, D.C.) – Today’s announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejecting a petition that asked the Obama administration to support mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is a resounding victory for those who support the science-based, bipartisan compromise currently being negotiated in Congress that will create a national, uniform labeling standard that brings transparency and consistency to the marketplace.
In denying the petition by labeling advocates, the FDA said that the petition does not provide evidence sufficient to show that foods derived from genetic engineered plants have any safety or other differences from foods from traditional plant breeding. FDA also said that consumer interest alone does not provide a sufficient basis to require labeling of genetic engineering of plants.
“The FDA announcement shows that there is a clear path forward for bipartisan compromise in support of consistent, science-based, factual food labeling and ends any chance of a federal mandatory on-package labeling requirement,” said Claire Parker, spokesperson for the Coaliton for Safe Affordable Food. “We applaud FDA for standing up for sound science by opposing mandatory GMO labeling that would mislead consumers and drive up food costs.”
Earlier today, the FDA released its long awaited guidance for food manufacturers who choose to voluntarily label their products as made with GMO ingredients. The release of this gudiance reiterates the position of the FDA that mandatory on-package labeling of GMOs is unjustified either by science or by precedent.
Mandatory on-package GMO labeling has already been rejected by both chambers of Congress by overwhelming bipartisan majorities. Today’s announcement means both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government are now on record opposing misguided and unjustified GMO labeling mandates. Encouragingly, bipartisan compromise is within reach in Congress that will create a uniform, national food labeling standard that will ensure farmers have the continued ability to produce the safe, affordable food that feeds American families and a growing world population.
“The fact remains that Vermont’s mandatory labeling law is set to take effect next July,” continued Parker. “As members of Congress from both sides of the aisle continue to iron out a reasonable national solution, they should be heartened by the FDA’s announcement, which we are confident will increase momentum behind a deal. It is imperative we get this passed this year.”
We are a broad-based coalition representing the entire American agriculture food supply chain – from farm to fork. We are committed to increasing the public’s understanding about the science and safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and advocating for science-based policies that keep food affordable for every American.