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USA Today this morning reports that a coalition of 300 companies, organizations and doctors will announce today “that it has filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to require that all genetically engineered foods include a label that advises consumers they're eating food that has been altered.”

Critics of the existing policy - which does not require labeling, on the premise that there is no substantial or significant difference between genetically altered ingredients and those that are not - say that health concerns remain about GMOs, and point to the fact that labeling is required in the European Union, Russia, Japan and China.

"This is about the consumer's right to transparency," says Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield Farm and a member of the Just Label It coalition. "People deserve the right to know what they're eating."

USA Today writes that “executives at the Biotechnology Industry Organization insist there's no need for labeling. ‘Anyone who has ever studied the issue has come to the conclusion that there are no health issues here,’ says CEO Jim Greenwood. ‘Unless the scientists have stopped being scientific, this will be rejected’.”

A labeling requirement by the FDA could have a dramatic impact. For example, the paper notes that “some 88% of the corn planted in the U.S. is genetically engineered, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It shows up in many packaged foods.”
KC's View:
Transparency is better. Almost always, and certainly when it comes to the food that we eat and how it is made.

I would argue that it is silly to suggest that real scientists would be anti-transparency, because real science, in my opinion, allows for a discussion of this issue.

Besides, I have a suspicion that the Biotechnology Industry Organization is a lot more about industry than it is about science.

As a consumer, I may decide that I don’t mind eating foods that include GMOs. I’ll make that decision based on a number of factors - convenience, price, taste ... and whether I’ve been persuaded that GMOs are good for me, or at least not bad for me.

But when industry tried to hide the information, that’s when I get suspicious.