retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times reports that less than two years after California voters rejected a ballot initiative that would have mandated the labeling of foods containing genetically modified (GM) ingredients, the State Senate's Health Committee has passed legislation that "would require labeling of genetically engineered bulk and packaged foods beginning in 2016. The legislation goes to the Rules Committee and perhaps the Agriculture Committee, where it could face trouble."

As the story notes, "Experts on both sides of the issue disagree vehemently. Proponents of labeling say they fear that eating such foods — often made from genetically modified corn, soybeans and sugar beets — could cause allergic reactions, asthma and autoimmune deficiencies. Growers, the grocery industry and many scientists counter that genetic engineering boosts production of foods that are no different — and no more dangerous — than non-engineered ones."

Meanwhile, Politico reports that Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), told a House of Representatives subcommittee last week that "FDA will soon re-assert that it’s unnecessary to mandate labels for foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients," adding, "We have supported voluntary labeling, and we have put out a proposed guidance, and we hope to finalize that soon."
KC's View:
t may we worth noting here that at the annual Executive Forum sponsored in May at Portland State University's Center for Retail Leadership, we're planning a panel discussion that will serve as a kind of debate about GMO labeling. We're still putting the pieces in place, but I'm looking forward to moderating what I hope will be an accessible and civil discussion of the issue.

You can find out more about it here.