Chuck Robinson, Assistant Copy ChiefOnce Vermont’s governor signed a bill into law making his state the first in the country to require labeling on foods made with genetically modified ingredients, The Economist published an article about “the little state that could kneecap the biotech industry.”
Seems a little over the top, but maybe not compared to the scare tactics of the activists pushing the issue in Vermont and across the county.
There has been a lot of fun depicting “frankenfoods.” It doesn’t take many Photoshop skills to put eyeballs onto a piece of produce in an unappetizing manner.
I don’t think printing a phrase on packaging saying a product “may be produced with genetic engineering” will cause much stir. Lots of things are listed on packages to little effect, such as ingredients and the nutrition statistics chart.
Then again, I would have thought the GM labeling issue was covered by the laws regarding organic standards. You can’t use GM foods in organic products, so just look for the USDA organic label.
The Washington, D.C.-based trade organization Grocery Manufacturers Association is herding a consortium of 35 food organizations to support a law giving the Food and Drug Administration authority to test GM products, conduct safety reviews, set standards for labeling and mandate labeling as it sees fit.
The problem is a potential patchwork of conflicting and confusing state-by-state standards, the Grocery Manufacturers Association contends.
I hear echoes in their argument of the debate leading up to the National Organic Program.
Of course, FDA is struggling to live up to its mission with the Food Safety Modernization Act while Congress holds the purse strings tight. A year ago in May FDA said additional funding was needed.
Again a year later, The Packer quoted Dave Gombas, senior vice president for food safety and technology at the United Fresh Produce Association, saying state and county officials dealt the task of monitoring compliance were struggling with tight budgets and unable to carry out their food safety missions.
It crosses the mind of a cynical thinker that giving FDA the responsibility but not giving it the resources was part of a diabolical plan.
That may be with genetically modified food, but surely not with food safety.