It s been all the rage lately states attempting to enact legislation requiring that foods containing genetically engineered ingredients be so labeled. Last fall, California tried and failed to pass such a law, and the New York legislature decided against it too. Some 20 states, according to a report in The New York Times, are also considering such legislation.
In an interesting twist, the Connecticut bill states that the labeling law would not take effect unless four other states, at least one of which shares a border with Connecticut, passed similar regulations. Further, those states must have a total population of at least 20 million people. The Connecticut House has agreed to take up the bill.
The purpose of the restrictions is to ensure that there would be at least a regional market for such labeled goods.
The FDA has not required such labeling because it has not found any scientific basis for it: Genetically engineered foods are not functionally different from their conventionally produced counterparts.
ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava comments This labeling initiative is gathering momentum across the country, but it really is a waste of time and resources. Food producers will have to keep separate streams of conventional and non-GE foods. And it isn t necessary since organic foods which are already in the market by definition may not contain genetically engineered ingredients. The desire for GE ingredient labeling is based on unwarranted fears.