In a victory for food producers, the Food and Drug Administration Thursday denied petitions from anti-GMO activist organizations requiring the labeling of biotech foods. The FDA maintains that there is no need for additional labeling of foods derived from GE (genetically engineered) sources unless there is “a material difference – such as a different nutritional profile – between the GE product and its non-GE counterpart.”
As part of the ruling, the agency issued a final guidance document that explains how food companies can voluntarily label their products.
“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.”
“The FDA’s approach to voluntary labeling of food products would provide American consumers with truthful information in a clear manner that respects regulatory processes already in place,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling. “A voluntary labeling system, like the one outlined, provides information that would allow consumers to make choices based in facts and not in fear.”
The FDA action provides additional credibility to the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 which has already passed the U.S. House, with similar legislation being crafted in the Senate.