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FDA Rejects Mandatory Labeling of GMO Foods, Releases Own Recommendations

December 7, 2015

The conversation over genetically modified organisms flared up at the end of November, when the FDA made several big announcements on the issue. Most notably, it rejected a consumer activist petition seeking mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified ingredients, and then released its own recommendations on the voluntary labeling of GMO foods.

In its reason for the rejection, FDA said the petition did not provide enough evidence to show that foods derived from genetically modified ingredients present any different or greater safety concerns than foods developed traditionally.

By releasing its own recommendations for voluntary labeling, FDA said it recognized the desire of some consumers to know what goes into their food.

“These guidances provide recommended actions for manufacturers who may wish to voluntarily label their products with information about whether the foods contain ingredients from GE sources,” the agency said.

NMPF applauded both announcements in a statement.

“FDA’s rejection of the petition is a strong reaffirmation of the sound science policy underlying FDA’s approval process,” NMPF said. “Only products found to be safe for human or animal use should be approved. And if they are approved as safe, there is no basis for mandatory labeling.”

FDA also announced that it had approved genetically engineered salmon for human consumption, saying that the modified salmon is as nutritious and safe to eat as non-GMO salmon. This is the first GMO animal to be declared edible.