Saturday, July 19, 2014
Oh no, 'GMO' | Local News | Colorado Springs Independent:
In November, Colorado voters could be asked to decide whether genetically engineered foods, commonly called GMOs, should be subject to mandatory labeling.
Petitions are being gathered to put Initiative 48, the "Colorado Right to Know Act," on the ballot. Under it, foods with GMO ingredients, with a few exceptions, would be labeled "Produced With Genetic Engineering."
If it makes the cut, expect a fight. In 2012, GMO-labeling opponents spent over $46 million to convince voters to defeat a similar bill in California. And though legislative bills and ballot initiatives are under consideration in dozens of states, only Vermont has successfully passed a mandate. Four national organizations since have sued Vermont in federal court, claiming that law is unconstitutional.
GMOs refer to plants or animals whose DNA has been altered through gene splicing, often in an effort to yield more product. It's estimated that around 70 percent of processed foods use GMO ingredients. Labeling them is a widely popular concept — a New York Times poll a year ago found that 93 percent of Americans want them labeled.
Labeling currently required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration covers subjects like ingredients, nutritional value and allergens. Karen Batra, spokesperson for the trade group Biotechnology Industry Organization, notes that hundreds of studies have shown no nutritional difference between GMO foods and traditionally produced foods. Therefore, she says, GMO labeling is about telling consumers about theprocess that produced their food — an area the FDA hasn't ventured into.
Posted by JOlmsted at 8:12 PM