OMG GMOs! How Can You Tell If Your Produce Is Genetically Modified? OMG GMOs! How Can You Tell If Your Produce Is Genetically Modified?
Lifestyle

OMG GMOs! How Can You Tell If Your Produce Is Genetically Modified?

by Peter Smith

May 26, 2011

The anticipated approval of Aqua Bounty’s genetically modified AquAdvantage salmon, which is being reviewed for human consumption, has ushered in a wave of legislation, including two pending bills in Congress—HR 521 and S 230—that call for an outright ban.

State legislators in 14 states, including California (AB 88), Oregon, Vermont, and Alaska, have introduced bills that would require additional labeling. The patchwork of state rules might spur a federal labeling law, Lyndsay Layton of the Washington Post reports. As Diane Urban, a Connecticut legislator told her:

“If each state makes it different, then the big corporations will be begging the federal government to step in and do regulation. That’s a strategy.”

A similar strategy worked for mandatory calorie counting at chain restaurants. But labels identifying genetically modified foods could even be tantamount to a ban, given many people’s skepticism. Currently, however, there's no labeling at all. And as Mark Bittman wrote in The New York Times, “Without labeling, we have no say in the matter whatsoever.”

Top photo via "'UH Rainbow' Papaya: A High-Quality Hybrid with Genetically Engineered Disease Resistance." Bottom photo via Barrett & MacKay/Aqua Bounty Technologies.

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OMG GMOs! How Can You Tell If Your Produce Is Genetically Modified?