Sunday, July 13, 2014

FDA Opposes Oregon Mandatory Labeling Initiative (Oct. 2002)

FDA Opposes Oregon Mandatory Labeling Initiative:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration objects to Oregon's ballot Measure 27,
which would require labeling to identify genetically modified foods sold in
In an Oct. 4 letter to Gov. John Kitzhaber, FDA Deputy Commissioner Lester
M. Crawford argued that labeling of genetically modified foods is not only
unnecessary, but contrary to FDA guidelines.
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"FDA's scientific evaluation of bioengineered foods continues to show that
these foods, as currently marketed in the United States, are as safe as
their conventional counterparts," Crawford wrote.
"Moreover," he said, "mandatory labeling to disclose that a product was
produced through genetic engineering does not promote the public health in
that it fails to provide material facts concerning the safety or nutritional
aspects of food and may be misleading to consumers."
If Measure 27 passes, Oregon would become the first state to mandate
labeling on genetically modified foods.
As much as 70 percent of the processed foods consumed in the United States
contain some genetically altered ingredient. The FDA does not require
special labeling of those foods, though genetically modified foods must meet
the same safety standards as their conventionally bred counterparts, the
agency says.
Reached late Monday, Crawford said it is not particularly unusual for the
FDA to weigh in on a state ballot issue. He was unsure whether the FDA would
take any further action beyond the unsolicited letter to Kitzhaber.

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