Congress passed a bill on Thursday that wipes out state laws requiring the labeling of genetically modified ingredients in food.
The bill particularly strikes down a Vermont labeling law that just went into effect this month and required ingredients derived from genetic engineering to be disclosed on packaging.
Genetically modified (GM) foods have been around for decades. Created by modifying the DNA of one organism through the introduction of genes from another, they are developed for a number of different reasons—to fight disease, enhance flavor, resist pests, improve nutrition, survive drought—and are mainly found in our food supply in processed foods using corn, soybeans, and sugar beets, and as feed for farm animals. Across the country and around the world, communities are fighting the cultivation of genetically engineered crops. Are they safe? How do they impact the environment? Can they improve food security? Is the world better off with or without GM food?
The most recent CAST Issue Paper, “The Potential Impacts of Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Engineered Food in the United States,” explores the issues surrounding mandatory labeling of GE foods. EMAC Director Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes co-authored the paper along with Alison Van Eenennaam from the University of California-Davis, Bruce M. Chasey from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and Thomas P. Redick, Global Environmental Ethics Counsel, LLC .