by David Corrigan
WASHINGTON D.C. – Genetically modified food labeling bills may have died at the state legislature this year, despite wide spread public demonstrations against GMOs in Hawaii, but now it looks like the mantle will be carried on at the federal level.
On Wednesday, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard delivered House floor remarks on the “Genetically Engineered Foods Right-to-Know Act”, which she co-sponsored.
“Food is a basic necessity in our everyday lives, and people have a right to know what is in the food that we eat,” said Gabbard on Wednesday. “I have long been an advocate of labeling food containing GE products because consumers deserve honest, transparent information about their food. This legislation puts consumers first and will empower them to make informed choices for themselves and their families.”
The legislation would require labeling for Genetically Engineered whole foods and processed foods, including fish and seafood. The measure would direct the FDA to write new labeling standards for GE foods that are consistent with U.S. labeling standards and international standards.
Gabbard noted that “more than 1.5 million Americans have filed comments with the FDA urging it to label GE foods, and national surveys have shown that more than 90 percent of people support it.”
“The FDA already requires labeling of more than 3,000 ingredients,” Gabbars said, “additives and processes, but it has resisted labels for GE foods. Changing this outdated policy would add the consumer-demanded GE food label to that robust list; a step which would not be cost-prohibitive for companies or consumers.”
More than 60 countries, including the United Kingdom and all other countries of the European Union, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, Australia, India, China, have laws or regulations mandating disclosure of genetically engineered food on food labels, according to the legislation.