The US Food and Drug Administration has denied a petition requesting the agency require mandatory labels for all foods that are genetically engineering or contain ingredients from genetically engineered sources.
The petition was submitted on behalf of the Center for Food Safety, a national non-profit public advocacy organization, and 22 other companies and trade organizations including Stonyfield Farm, Annie’s Homegrown, Amy’s Kitchen, Horizon Organic, the National Organic Coalition and the Organic Trade Association.
After its review, FDA determined the petition did not “provide evidence sufficient to show that foods derived from genetically engineered plants, as a class, differ from foods derived from non-GE plant varieties in any meaningful or uniform way, or that as a class, such foods present any different or greater safety concerns than foods developed by traditional plant breeding.”
The agency further stated in its decision that consumer interest alone does not provide a sufficient basis to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) applauded FDA’s decision.
“The FDA made the right decision for the right reasons, standing with sound science and recognizing that the world’s most respected and authoritative scientific and regulatory bodies have repeatedly found genetically engineered ingredients to be safe,” says Pamela Bailey, GMA president and CEO. “We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to enact a uniform national standard for food labeling that would prevent a costly and confusing patchwork of state labeling mandates. Our industry is committed to transparency and to addressing the increasing desire by shoppers for more information about the products they buy, use and consume.”