FDA Denies Americans Right
To Know If They Are
Eating GM Food
From Aaron Bannon
Media Officer - Greenpeace

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 countries.
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."

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