HR 3553, 111th Congress
Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act
"To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Federal Meat Inspection Act, and the Poultry Products Inspection Act to require that food that contains a genetically engineered material, or that is produced with a genetically engineered material, be labeled accordingly."Congress finds as follows:
(1) The process of genetically engineering foods results in the material change of such foods.All of the arguments in defense of labeling are tightly summarized, right here, in a Bill written by Congress and endorsed by several of its members. Health risks, environmental risks, religious and ethical considerations, post-market surveillance (how can we track health issues if we don't know what someone ate?), international trade markets - it's all here. What do you think the hold-up is?
(2) The Congress has previously required that all foods bear labels that reveal material facts to consumers.
(3) Federal agencies have failed to uphold Congressional intent by allowing genetically engineered foods to be marketed, sold and otherwise used without labeling that reveals material facts to the public.
(4) Consumers wish to know whether the food they purchase and consume contains or is produced with a genetically engineered material for a variety of reasons, including the potential transfer of allergens into food and other health risks, concerns about potential environmental risks associated with the genetic engineering of crops, and religiously and ethically based dietary restrictions.
(5) Consumers have a right to know whether the food they purchase contains or was produced with genetically engineered material.
(6) Labels voluntarily placed on foods are insufficient to provide consumers with adequate information on whether or not all the food they are purchasing contains or was produced with genetically engineered material.
(7) Mandatory labeling provides a critical scientific method necessary for the continual postmarket surveillance to study long-term health impacts and enforcement of food safety laws preventing adulterated foods from reaching consumers.
(8) Many of the United States key trading partners, including countries in the European Union, Japan, and the People’s Republic of China, have established, or are in the process of implementing, mandatory labeling requirements for genetically engineered food.
(9) Adoption and implementation of mandatory labeling requirements for genetically engineered food produced in the United States would facilitate international trade by allowing American farmers and companies to export and appropriately market their products--both genetically engineered and non-genetically engineered--to foreign customers.