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Genetically modified foods shouldn't be labeled as such, U.S. argues

May 11, 2010 | 12:21 pm

Booster Shots recently blogged about an international trade meeting that addressed, among other things, whether genetically modified foods should be labeled as such.

The United States argues that they shouldn't -- because, it says, to do so is to imply that GMO foods are somehow different. The U.S. also doesn't want the rules to let countries set their own standards on this issue -- because, again, it would imply that GM foods are somehow different.

Before the meeting, which took place in Quebec a few days ago, 80 groups including the Consumers Union had sent a letter of concern to the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture about this position.

The U.S. didn't budge from its position at the Canada meeting, apparently, in opposition to most countries there. The issue is to be taken up at a later date.  

The meeting is for the Codex Alimentarius, a kind of international set of rules that govern food trade standards. Consumers Union is concerned that if the U.S.' desires prevail, it could lead to a ban on "GMO-free" labels. According to a news release, the group has now called on the Obama administration to endorse the compromise that most countries represented at the meeting favored: letting different countries to do their own thing on the matter.

Here's an article about the issue at Food Safety News.

-- Rosie Mestel

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Comments (6)

That's nutty. If I want to buy a yellow car, but the manufacturer says, correctly, that yellow cars are no different in performance on the road than other cars so he'll only sell me a red one, that's nuts too, right? I have the right to differentiate between objects even if they are not substantially different in the way they're expected to perform. It's called democracy, and the industrial crap food producers will just have to accept that.

Won't they?


What your afraid of is that consumers will reject them - all the while you're also saying that consumers don't care. Let consumers decide! We want non - GMO foods!

This would be comical if it the potential consequences weren't so dangerous. It is tempting to call asinine the argument that 'We can't label that if GMO food as such or people might think that it is different from regular food', because, well, duh, IT IS DIFFERENT! The gene structure has been changed. But those who argue in this way are not at all stupid. Biotech companies know exactly what they are doing. They know that if consumers had a choice, many would chose to purchase non GMO food. They know that labeling GMO food is the first step to possible assignment of responsibility, should something go wrong, somehow, somewhere down the line. It reminds me of the old days in which tobacco companies swore that tobacco was harmless and not addictive. That did not work out so well in the end, especially for the smokers. I hope this turns out differently.

Why do we need mandatory labelling? If consumers are so opposed to GM food then the market will provide non-GM products just as it does with organics and free-range. Why are the anti-GM groups so scared that the market won't do this? Because they know they are a very small and very loud minority.

We need mandatory labeling because even those of us that are conscientious about what we purchase can still be "tricked" into getting GMO foods, because a food is allowed to be labeled "organic" even if its only 95% so, so that "xanthum gum" and "corn starch" can be from GMO and we wouldn't know any better.

Come on now, for one thing the vast majority of people don't even know what GMO foods are thanks to our wonderful corporate media.

Hell even the American Dieticians Association is sponsored by Coke and Pepsi which obviously aren't remotely healthy products so you know you're not getting the full story.

As for GMO's studies have come out linking them with organ damage and reproductive harm, no shocker there IMO considering you are putting something in your body that produces its own pesticides that are known to be harmful to human cells.

I don't know about you but I don't want the same company (Monsanto) that created Agent Orange and DDT with control over my food supply as they have just about accomplished covertly over the last ten years.


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