Editor's Note: Democratic Reps. Peter DeFazio (OR) , Rosa DeLauro (CT), Ann McLane Kuster (NH), and Chellie Pingree (ME) joined a group of more than 200 food companies, organic farmer organizations and health and environmental organizations to urge President Obama to require labeling of food products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMO). The mandatory GMO labeling initiative comes at the same time that the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is advocating Congress for a federal standard for voluntary GMO labeling
Organic food and farm groups ask Obama to require GMO food labels
Four U.S. lawmakers joined with more than 200 food companies, organic farming groups, health and environment organizations and other groups on Thursday to urge President Barack Obama to require manufacturers to label food products that contain genetically engineered ingredients.
The groups delivered a letter to the president dated January 16 reminding Obama of a campaign pledge the groups said he made in 2007 as he campaigned in Iowa to work to label so-called GMO foods.
The issue is hotly contested, with more than 20 states considering laws to mandate labeling of foods made with gene-altered corn, soybeans, sugar beets and other biotech crops. Currently, labeling of such foods is voluntary.
Advocates of labeling say consumers deserve to know if the food they eat contains GMOs. But the makers of biotech crops, and many large food manufacturers have fought against mandatory labeling, arguing that genetically modified crops are not materially different and pose no safety risk, and labeling would mislead consumers.