Brits debate genetic food labeling

The controversy between the U.S. and Europe over whether or not genetically altered foods should be so labeled heated up recently when the British Medical Assn.

came out with a strong statement saying foods containing new genes should be labeled so consumers could choose to avoid them. In addition, BMA wants gene-altered crops to be processed separately from conventional crops rather than mixed together as in the U.S. If U.S. growers refuse, Britain should consider banning imports of these foods, said BMA. It's the policy of FDA and other federal agencies not to regulate engineered crops or foods differently from conventional products because they believe there is no sufficient scientific evidence to indicate these techniques produce a different class of products in quality of safety. The U.S. leads the world in agricultural biotechnology, and growers, chemical manufacturers and members of Congress are urging President Bill Clinton to take the lead in addressing trade in these products with other heads of state. c Sunscreen labeling heats up: FDA says "sunblock" and "waterproof" will be eliminated.

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