US stock market daily report (January 16, 2014, Thursday)
January 17, 2014, Friday, 05:39 GMT | 01:39 EST | 11:09 IST | 13:39 SGT
Genetically engineered (GE) food, genetically modified (GM) food or genetically modified organisms (GMO) are present in the foods we eat although, there are no regulations that they must be specified on food labels. Consumers deserve the right to know what genetically engineered ingredients are present in the food we ingest. Even though the FDA has declared that food ingredients developed by biotechnology have no material difference to their conventional counterparts, consumer demands are getting stronger for genetically altered ingredients must be identified on food labels.
Lawmakers, organic food industry representatives and consumer groups are urging the White House to require the labeling of genetically modified foods, arguing that the President should follow through with a 2007 campaign promise he made to take action on the issue.
Since 2011, the FDA has a pending petition, requiring GMO labeling. States that have passed labeling measures - Connecticut and Maine - have yet to take effect due to difficult trigger clauses. So far for the year 2014, Florida, Rhode Island and Vermont have taken up bills requiring GMO labeling.
Opposition of mandatory labeling requirements remains strong from the Grocery Manufacturers Association and biotech industry as they argue consumers would be confused. The groups also state that adding GMO products on their label would serve to imply they are less safe than conventional counterparts.
In his 2007 campaign promise, President Barack Obama said, “Here’s what I’ll do as president…We’ll let folks know if their food has been genetically modified because Americans should know what they’re buying.
In a letter addressed to the President and released Thursday morning at a press event on Capitol Hill more than 200 consumer advocacy groups and food companies say the Food and Drug Administration already has the authority under current law to set labeling standards for GMO. The letter asserts the fix is relatively straight forward.
The groups wrote in their letter to the President, “In 2007, you pledged to give consumers the right to know if their food is genetically engineered National polls show that 93 percent of Americans share your view.”
"FDA has a duty to act when the absence of labeling would leave consumers confused about the foods they buy. It’s been more than a decade since FDA approved voluntary GE labeling, and consumers are more confused than ever. Allowing responsible companies to voluntarily disclose the presence of GE ingredients is simply not enough.”
HR 1699 - 'Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act' - a bill introduced and sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio on April 24, 2013, would require FDA to label foods that contain genetically modified organisms.
The bill remains pending in front of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s health subcommittee.
To review the bill: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr1699/text
To let your voice be heard on the bill: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr1699#comments