retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday approved genetically modified salmon, designed by a company called AquaBounty Technologies so it grows faster than conventional fish, for human consumption. In doing so, the FDA reinforced another message sent yesterday when it denied a petition that would have called for mandatory labeling of GMOs in food products sold in the US.

The FDA said that the GM salmon does not require labeling because it is nutritionally equivalent to conventional farm-raised salmon. However, the door remains open to the producers of conventional salmon to label their fish as non-GMO.

Reuters reports that "activists who argue that the farm-raised salmon poses risks to the environment and public health say its clearance ... will galvanize opponents to press for the fish to be labeled as genetically engineered. Friends of the Earth and other environmental groups plan to send letters to the FDA and members of Congress calling for a law that requires labels. The groups have already successfully lobbied major companies like and Kroger Co and Safeway Ltd to say they will ban GMO salmon from their stores."

The first GM salmon is expected to reach US supermarkets in about two years.
KC's View:
I'm sure that from this point, there will be lawsuits and lobbying and all sorts of public and private fighting over the government's continuing pro-GMO stance.

But I'm beginning to think that this is counter-productive ... that pro-labeling forces (which are distinct from anti-GMO forces) instead ought to focus on the promotion of products that do not contain GMOs and labeling them as such, with a public information campaign that reinforces why and how they are different. Maybe it makes more sense to do the one thing that the biotech companies seem opposed to doing - make the case to and educate the American people.