Labeling genetically engineered foods is about preserving our freedom of choice.
We have the right to know what’s in our food.
Polls consistently show that the vast majority of the public, between 75 and 93 percent, wants to know if their food was produced using genetic engineering. Without disclosure, consumers of genetically engineered food unknowingly may violate their own dietary and religious restrictions.
Genetically engineered foods are not proven safe and the long-term health risks on humans have not been investigated adequately. Accumulating research has prompted a growing number of countries to require mandatory labeling.
63 countries have mandatory labeling laws including Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, India, China, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa, Russia, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, the UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Sweden and other nations in the European Union. Many have bans or other restrictions against genetically engineered crops and foods.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require safety assessments and does not review all genetically engineered products entering the market. When questions arise over safety, FDA can point only to studies done by the chemical or pharmaceutical companies that develop genetically engineered products. These companies determine themselves if their products are safe or "warrant analytical or toxicological tests."
Even if companies admit there are safety questions, "consultations" are voluntary. If companies decide to talk to the FDA, corporate studies are protected as trade secrets, so they're not available for public review.
The FDA does not review genetically engineered seeds or crops that make their own pesticides in every cell, including the parts we eat. These genetically engineered food plants are registered as pesticides at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
What are genetically engineered seeds or foods?
A genetically engineered seed or food is a seed, plant, fish or animal that has had its DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria to produce foreign compounds.
They are created in ways not possible in Nature, mixing genes across species barriers.
These techniques are completely unlike and different from hybridization.
Genetically engineered foods are not the same as those created through traditional breeding techniques.