The Nation’s Leading Regulatory Body on Food Safety Reaffirms Safety of GMOs
On March 28, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg testified to the House Appropriations Committee on the FDA’s 2015 budget request. In a line of questioning, she was asked about the labeling of GMOs. The Hill’s Benjamin Goad tracked her response reaffirming that the FDA will not label GM foods.
“Margaret Hamburg told lawmakers this week that the agency remains comfortable with a 1992 policy decision concluding that food made with genetically modified organisms — or GMOs — is not materially different from other products.
“‘We have not seen evidence of safety risks associated with genetically modified foods,’ Hamburg said.”
Goad did report on some division among Committee members noting that Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) criticized the FDA’s unwillingness to impose mandatory labeling requirements, saying “the action is the least the government can do to give consumers more information about the food on their dinner table.” While Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) rightly countered with “there’s no scientific basis for concern,” in regards to GMOs, making it unnecessary to label them.
In her piece, Hamburg reaffirms FDA GMO-labeling position, Tarini Parti of Politico reported on Hamburg’s mentioning at the Appropriations hearing of a proposed guidance for voluntary labeling of GMOs.
“FDA will soon re-assert that it’s unnecessary to mandate labels for foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said yesterday in a hearing on Capitol Hill.
“‘We have supported voluntary labeling, and we have put out a proposed guidance, and we hope to finalize that soon.
“The way FDA has for many years interpreted the law and it has been supported by the courts is that mandatory labeling is appropriate and required when there is a fault claim or misbranding. The fact that a food contains GE ingredients does not constitute a material change in the product.”
To view Commissioner Hamburg’s remarks in full, visit the Committee on Appropriations hearing page here.