With growing consumer awareness about the multiple issues surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs), more citizens are demanding that GMO foods be properly labeled, and a growing number of states have passed -- or tried to pass but were defeated by Big Food corporations -- legislation that would require such labeling. The majority of Americans want GMO foods to be labeled, but the federal government refuses to take action, which leaves it up to the states to protect their citizens.
A number of politicians and companies, however, oppose the idea of Americans knowing what's in the food they're eating. Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) recently drafted the "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act," a bill that is aimed at overriding state legislation requiring GMO food labeling.
"The bill specifically prohibits any mandatory labeling of foods developed using bioengineering," Reuters
Numerous scientific studies have shown links between GMOs and adverse effects on human and animal health. They have also cause environmental damage, the rise of herbicide-resistant superweeds and increases in the amount of toxic glyphosate doused on fields and polluting water through runoff.
GMO labeling advocates say this bill is a sign that food and biotech companies fear growing consumer awareness and distrust of GMOs. "They know that the food movement's power is growing and that labeling is not a matter of if but when," said Colin O'Neil, director of government affairs for the Center for Food Safety. "They are afraid of state action and now they're trying to steal away consumer choice in Congress."