The Coca-Cola Company, General Mills, Kraft Foods and the other 300-plus food companies that are members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association will soon lobby the US food safety regulator and Congress for a single federal standard covering oversight and labeling of new genetically modified foods, Reuters reports.
The legislation would mandate consistent labeling of non-GMO and GMO foods, cancel out state laws not identical to the federal law, allow GMO foods to be labeled as “natural,” and require biotech crop developers to notify the FDA before introducing a new genetically engineered crop — it’s currently voluntary — among other provisions, according to the news agency.
The move aims to stop state-by-state efforts to mandate labeling of genetically modified foods.
Earlier this month General Mills stopped using genetically modified ingredients to make original Cheerios, following a yearlong effort by the GMO Inside campaign, which rallied consumers to post more than 40,000 messages on the Cheerios Facebook page.
A month earlier the Big Island of Hawaii approved a near-complete ban on genetically modified crops, despite testimony from the University of Hawaii that, according to the global scientific consensus, existing GMOs pose no increased risks and have also provided some benefits. Local papaya farmers, for example, credit genetic modification with saving their crop from disease.
Image Credit: GMO-free label via Shutterstock