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Natural News applauds FDA for requiring calorie labeling... so why not label GMOs, too?


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(NaturalNews) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said it will adopt new regulations requiring chain restaurants, movie houses and some other food retailers that sell prepared foods to add calorie labels to their menus and menu boards rules that will apply only to chains with 20 or more restaurants. But the government's food regulation agency still won't act to require food makers who use genetically modified ingredients and organisms to add that information to labels.

As reported by The Associated Press, the recently announced rules include foods what will and will not have to contain labeling.

Among the foods that will require a caloric label:
  • Menu items at chain restaurants, including drive-through and take out boards
  • Drinks on menus, and soda dispensers
  • Some alcoholic beverages on menus
  • Most prepared foods in supermarkets, convenience stores
  • Concessions at movie theaters, amusement parks that are part of larger chains
  • Displays of food, such as pastries, at coffee chains like Starbucks
  • Food prepared on site at large retail outlets, such as Target and Costco
Foods that will not require caloric labels include:
  • Menu items at independent restaurants with fewer than 20 outlets
  • Seasonal or daily specials at chain restaurants
  • Anything that isn't on a menu at a chain restaurant, such as a bread basket or drinks at the bar
  • Food on airplanes, trains
  • Food on food trucks
  • Deli meats, cheeses and bulk salads at grocery stores

New rules don't go far enough

While we applaud any effort to better inform American consumers about the foods they consume, naturally we believe that the FDA has come up short by failing to require food makers, restaurants and other food retailers to disclose all GMO ingredients as well.

That said, according to The Organic & Non-GMO Report, in January 2010, the FDA did require biotechnology corporations and companies to consult with the food regulatory agency at least 120 days before they begin marketing new GMO foods. Before, those consultations were voluntary.

According to the new rule, biotech companies must provide health safety information about their new GMO products; in return, the FDA said it would make the information available to the general public via the Internet.

Again, anti-GMO forces praised the FDA's actions, but only to a point because they did not go far enough in requiring GMO foods to be labeled.

As further reported by The Organic & Non-GMO Report:

Notable for companies wanting to advertise products as non-genetically modified is the fact that the FDA says it will not allow labels like "GM-free," "GMO-Free" or "biotech-free." The agency says guaranteeing a product to be free of GM material is virtually impossible. Instead the labels will have to say the food was not produced through bioengineering. The FDA said it may take legal action against companies that violate these guidelines.

Some progress is better than no progress

Despite the FDA's reluctance to require GMO labeling, there is clearly a significant portion of the U.S. population that wants it to happen. The Atlantic reported in May that, as of that time, there were 84 bills in 29 states pertaining to GMO labeling, as well as "dueling bills in Congress."

Still, despite growing support and the country's first state law requiring labeling in Vermont, the movement still faces an uphill battle. Labeling initiatives were defeated in California in 2012 and again in Washington state in 2013.

As further reported by The Atlantic:

In state after state where labeling has been proposed, the politicians pushing it--mostly Democrats--tell the same story. The issue, they say, was hardly on their radar until a massive amount of constituent pressure put it there. In Vermont, the campaign for labeling was spearheaded by a coalition of organic farms and the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. Campaigners knocked on 80,000 doors and got 30,000 Vermonters to send postcards to their state legislators.

With the FDA finally paying some attention to the labeling "movement," it's possible that the listing of GMO ingredients in foods may not be too far off.






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