States Mull Genetically Altered Food Labeling

Friday, 20 May 2011 03:08 PM

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States are now leading the way on the issue of labeling genetically modified food. In the absence of federal law, 14 states are now considering whether to require labeling of such food, The Washington Post reports.

The state action comes as the federal government is considering whether to allow genetically altered salmon to be sold for human consumption.

genetically modified food,salmon,Frankenfish,Grocery Manufacturers Association,FDA,Jared Huffman
A genetically altered salmon, back, and normal salmon of same age (AP)
Lawmakers in Alaska, California, Oregon, and Vermont are considering labels for altered fish. Other states, including New York, are considering labeling for all genetically altered food.

California Assembly member Jared Huffman told that Post that “the fact that you see these measures popping up is kind of a response to the vacuum in Washington.” Genetically altered salmon grow at twice the normal rate and have been dubbed “Frankenfish” by detractors.

“If you’ve got a product on the shelf next to wild salmon and it’s genetically engineered, raised in pens in a factory facility — probably priced a lot less — and you don’t even label it, the consumer will think it’s salmon,” Huffman said.

The Food and Drug Administration first approved genetically altered material for use in food in 1992. Today, genetically altered soybean products can be found in everything from cereal to chocolate.

About 80 percent of processed food in the United States contains genetically altered ingredients according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association.


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