GMA testifies on biotech labeling

GMA’s director of international trade and environmental affairs told a California Senate committee that proposals to require labeling of biotech products, such as those pending in Congress and in the California legislature, mistakenly raise questions about food safety and contribute to global trade tensions.

Consumers see such labels as warnings, she said.

Meanwhile, GMA sent a letter to FDA’s Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling & Dietary Supplements urging the U.S. to support Option 1 of a draft policy on labeling of foods derived from biotechnology that will be considered at an upcoming session of the Codex Committee on Food Labeling. Option 1 is consistent with current FDA policy that requires labeling only if the biotech product “differs significantly” from the corresponding existing food or contains a known allergen. The U.S. should reject the compromise Option 2, says GMA, with its mandatory labeling requirements. Such requirements would be onerous to manufacturers and would cause significant consumer confusion and misunderstanding.

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