- WASHINGTON, DC - FDA
fails to require testing and labeling of gene-altered food despite medical
and scientific warnings.
- The rights of American consumers to know what they are
eating and feeding their families was today denied them by the Food and
Drug Administration. The new FDA policy proposal, posted on the web today,
does not require labeling or any pre- market safety testing of genetically
engineered foods. Instead, FDA has sided with the biotech industry, which
vehemently fights mandatory labeling of gene-altered food.
- "This is a terrible day for American consumersóthe
government has failed to protect their health and their interests,"
said Kimberly Wilson, a Greenpeace Genetic Engineering Campaigner in San
Francisco. "While the rest of the world is moving to label genetic
foods, U.S. consumers are still denied free choice in the grocery store.
Americans deserve to know what's in their food, yet FDA is working with
industry to keep genetic engineering a secret ingredient." Last week,
a report by the Consumer Federation of America echoed Greenpeace's calls
for mandatory labeling of all genetically engineered food.
- Labeling of genetically engineered foods is required
throughout Europe, and in Japan, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and other
- Food makers do not have to inform consumers if their
products contain genetically engineered ingredients under the new FDA policy.
FDA will allow gene-altered foods on the market without long- term safety
tests for effects in the diet or the environment.
- A new Greenpeace report, Genetically Engineered Food:
Still Unlabeled and Untested, has found that only three health studies
on genetically engineered foods have been published in peer-reviewed journals.
None of these met scientists' recommendations that gene altered foods be
tested for 90 days, nor did they meet the FDA's own testing requirements
for food additives that would require, in some cases, up to two years multiple
feeding studies. The biotech company studies that FDA relies on to assess
new altered crops are generally not submitted for peer review and not available
for public scrutiny.
- Doctors and scientists warn that genetically engineered
foods could trigger allergies, have increased levels of toxins, or could
hasten the spread of antibiotic resistance. The medical journal the Lancet
has stated: "It is astounding that FDA has not changed their stance
on genetically modified foodÖ. Governments should never have allowed
these products into the food chain without insisting on rigorous testing
for effects on health."
- Last fall, Greenpeace released the True Food Shopping
List, a detailed report of thousands of foods made with genetically engineered
ingredients. "FDA has refused to require labels, so Greenpeace took
action," added Wilson. "We labeled genetically engineered food
to give consumers a fighting chance when they go to the store."
Site Served by TheHostPros