Once again, the American Medical Association (AMA) has sided with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Monsanto by refusing to adopt a resolution for federal requirements to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs). During the AMA's annual meeting in Chicago last week (June 7-11), Resolution #517, Genetically Modified Organisms Labeling, was brought to the floor by Michigan delegate Dr. Dom Frederico. The resolution, authored by Dr. Jayne Courts of Grand Rapids, was passed by the Michigan State Medical Association House of Delegates and was then referred to the AMA committee for consideration by the delegates at the national meeting last week.
The reference committee hears the pro and con arguments and makes a recommendation to the entire house of delegates. In this case, the reference committee suggested non adoption of the Michigan resolution and nobody in the house of delegates spoke to disagree with their recommendation. There was a representative from the FDA present at the meeting. Except for the Michigan delegate who presented the resolution, no one testified for it. The opposition argued that there is a lack of scientific basis for labeling because there is no proof that GMOs cause harm. It seems that the AMA will be the last to know. How can they provide proper care when they refuse to acknowledge the problem?
The AMA claims that they support research into the unintended, adverse effects of GMOs, however their stand was and continues to be that the federal regulating agencies are doing a fine job [H-480.958 amended June 2012, links to a pdf document available to members only-links from other websites are broken]”
The AMA document on bio-engineered food states that there should be mandatory, pre-market, systematic safety assessments of bio-engineered foods. The AMA seems to be under the misapprehension that this has been done. In fact, the FDA gave GMOs a free pass by declaring them “substantially equivalent” to non-genetically engineered crops and the FDA has never required such safety studies. But the AMA also says, “the FDA’s requirement that any material difference between bioengineered foods and their traditional counterparts be disclosed in labeling, are [sic] effective in ensuring the safety of bioengineered food.”