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2012 - AMA Finds No Need For GMO Labels on Foods

July 3, 2012

(article courtesy AquaVetMed)

Chicago, IL, USA – The American Medical Association. (AMA) has taken a position that foods containing genetically modified ingredients do not require a special genetically modified organism (GMO) label. The position was adopted at the association's annual meeting in Chicago, Ill., June 19.

AMA said there "is no scientific justification" for GMO labeling of bioengineered foods, and labeling is "without value" unless accompanied by consumer education focused on what the label means. Government intervention should be based on science and "the characteristics of the animal or plant, its intended use and the environment in which it is to be introduced, not by the method used to produce it," AMA said.

The Grocery Manufacturers Assn. (GMA) commended AMA's position, noting that it is in line with the positions of the Food & Drug Administration and numerous other regulatory and scientific bodies "that agree that foods and beverages that contain (genetically modified ingredients) are safe and materially no different than those that do not contain such ingredients." Animal and plant biotechnology provides significant benefits for consumers, GMA said. Biotechnology has led to improved varieties of corn, soybeans, fruit and other foods that are resistant to bacteria, viruses and insects and that grow more quickly, GMA said.

Because foods that contain GMOs are no different than those that do not, forced labeling is unnecessary and may actually confuse consumers, GMA said, emphasizing that labeling should be reserved for important food safety and nutrition information.

An activist group, "California Committee for the Right to Know," (http://www.labelgmos.org/) has successfully petitioned for a ballot initiative in the state's elections this fall that would require GMO labeling.

 

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