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The Los Angeles Times examines the question of whether products containing genetically modified ingredients should be required to be labeled as such.

Three basic opinions are expressed:

• The Center for Food Safety believes that mandatory labeling of biotech foods is necessary to allow consumers to make informed decisions.

• The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that manufacturers and retailers can label genetically modified products or not, but that to mandate labeling would be to concede that foods with GMOs are different than foods without them … a concession that the FDA is unwilling to make.

• And the Organic Consumers Association figures that no labeling will be a boon for natural and organic foods, since if the government does not mandate them, consumers wanting to avoid them will have to buy organics.
KC's View:
I tend to side with the Center for Food Safety on this one, mostly because I believe in transparency. I don't particularly care if GMO labeling is mandatory or not, but I think that consumers need to be able to make this decision in an informed way … and selective labeling just doesn’t cut it.

Interestingly, Reuters had a story on the wires yesterday reporting the following:
“The time is right for a renewed push for biotech wheat, leading U.S. wheat industry players said this week, as tight world wheat supplies and high prices underscore strong global demand for the key food crop … There are still many hurdles to acceptance of biotech wheat, but industry leaders expressed fresh hope that the current squeeze can generate acceptance for gene technology that could make wheat more profitable for farmers to grow and thus more plentiful.”

And yet, there is no mention of labeling in the story, which I find kind of extraordinary, since I think at the end of the day the transparent labeling of products is almost as important as how they are made. As a reporter, and as a consumer, that’s the first question I ask.