HTML _ RS20507 - Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods
20-Mar-2000; Donna U. Vogt, Brian A. Jackson; 4 p.

Abstract: Congressional interest in the labeling of genetically modified foods (GM foods) has been rising. So far, two bills have been introduced to mandate that all foods from genetically modified¬† crops (GM crops) be labeled as such. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its current GM food labeling policy in May 1992. At that time, the agency determined that it would regulate GM foods no differently than foods created by conventional means because FDA considered them substantially equivalent to traditional foods and decided that no special label would be needed. In the intervening period, extensive public debate surrounding the genetic modification of foods has led some consumers to call for labeling of such products. A label would permit customers to choose to avoid purchasing or consuming them. Others oppose labeling because to make such labels ¨truthful and not misleading¨ all commodities would need to be segregated and tested, and the label would not have room to impart information that could not be distributed in other ways. The federal government's role in regulating these foods is explained in CRS report RL30198, Food Biotechnology in the United States: Science, Regulation, and Issues. This report focuses specifically on views surrounding the labeling of GM foods. It will be updated periodically as new legislative proposals are introduced. [read report]

Topics: Agriculture, Science & Technology, Economics & Trade

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