US Laws on GM Food Labelling Do Not Pass

US Laws on GM Food Labelling Do Not Pass
March 27, 2013

Genetically modified foods have long been a concern of consumers throughout the world. There are groups who feel that these items could pose a threat, even though careful monitoring and study ensures that is not the case.

Recently, it was put in front of the voters of the US state of California to determine if food labels require indication of GM foods.

Many people thought this vote would pass since there is serious concern about genetic modification to foods that consumers purchase and eat. However, there was also worry that this would cause disruption between the state of California and the US Food and Drug Administration, which doesn’t require GM food labelling.

Two to One Support

When the initiative began to create a ballot for GM food labelling, there was a more than two to one vote to approve the new law. However, when it actually came down to the vote, things certainly changed and the law was voted down by a 53 percent margin.

Why did the law get voted down? Most people think it had to do with confusing wording on the ballot. While a great deal of money was spent advertising in a "vote yes" campaign, some people believe that wording was actually neglected, leaving many voters afraid to pass the law because they didn’t necessarily understand it.

Where Does the Country Stand on GM Foods?

The US Food and Drug Administration specifically states that food companies are not required to label their products for genetic modification. Like other countries, the United States follows specific screening processes to ensure all foods are safe for consumption before they are approved for sale to consumers.

Australia has a similar take on GM foods. The FSANZ also spends a great deal of time testing all genetically modified foods well before they are allowed on supermarket shelves. This way, consumers don't have to fear any foods they choose to eat. Labelling of genetically modified food is not required in Australia or New Zealand either.

Despite the fact that most consumers seem to want GM food labelling, laws like the one in California are not passing. No matter the reason, whether it is confusing wording or not, this may raise consumer concern. However, with strict procedures in place to protect people, food safety governing bodies in Australia and in other countries ensure that genetically modified foods do not pose a threat.