Bill requiring labeling of genetically engineered food saved from procedural death

A new article from outlining the testimony that was heard by the House Agriculture Committee last week.

Michael Hansen of Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumers Reports, told the committee a different story. He said the FDA doesn’t require safety testing and too few safety studies have been done. “There are studies in the literature that suggest all sorts of adverse outcomes. Those studies should be followed up on. … The way I would look on it is to say that the safety (sic) isn’t there to show that the crops on the market are safe.”

Proponents of labeling also cite GMOs’ environmental effects. Gary Hirshberg, chairman of organic yogurt producer Stonyfield Farms, said that crops with a gene for resistance to a widely used herbicide, glyphosate (sold under the trade name Roundup), have resulted in herbicide-resistant “superweeds” on over 13 million acres of farmland in 26 states. This leads, he said, to greater use of stronger defoliants like 2,4-D.

Hirshberg promoted labeling so consumers can to choose not to support practices that lead to these environmental effects. “This gives a voice to the consumer-driven food economy that wants the transparency that only labeling can bring,” he said.

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