BIO Statement on “Food Labeling” Petition to FDA

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Washington, D.C. (October 4, 2011) – A coalition of anti-technology groups under the moniker “Just Label It” has reportedlysubmitted a petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calling for the mandatory labeling of foods that have been grown using agricultural biotechnology.

Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement in response: 

“BIO supports the laws and regulations administered by FDA and USDA that require food labeling to be truthful and not misleading.

“The FDA Guidance for Industry states, ‘a new biotech food that is substantially equivalent (meaning it has the same chemical composition and nutritional value to conventional varieties) does not require a special label.’

“To mandate by law the labeling of foods that are indistinguishable from foods produced through traditional methods would mislead consumers by falsely implying differences where none exist. 

“Consumers don’t want confusing debates about food politics.  Consumers want wholesome food at an affordable price.  Agricultural biotechnology is one of the tools that ensures our food supply is affordable, reliable and safe. 

“The world’s top scientific authorities – such as the National Academies of Science, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the American Dietetic Association and the American Medical Association – agree with the international consensus that biotech foods are as safe as foods grown with conventional seeds.   

“Our global population is growing every day, and consumers here at home are facing increasing economic challenges.  Now is the time to embrace – not restrict – the innovations in science and technology that help make modern agriculture more sustainable.”   

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About BIO
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.