Why Doesn't the FDA Require Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods?


The FDA’s labeling policy for GE foods is the same as for conventional foods and it assures that consumers are given information about nutritional, health safety, or food quality changes in the end product. FDA mandated labels are not used to provide information about the process by which the food is made. If a GE food is significantly different from its conventional counterpart, the food must be labeled to indicate the difference. Instances where the nutritional profile changes are included, for example if the GE food is created using genetic information from a previously recognized allergenic source, such as peanut, soy, or wheat, or if the new protein has characteristics of known allergens. For example, oils made from GE soybean and canola varieties with changes in fatty acid composition must be labeled; foods containing those oils must be labeled and companies producing that oil must use a new name. For example, Monsanto is using the name VistiveTM to market its low–linoleic acid product from GE soybean oils (1). If a food contains a new, potentially allergy-causing introduced protein, the label must state that the product contains the allergen and name its source.


1. Monsanto. 2008. About Vistive. Last accessed 2011-11-25. PDF


Updated 2/16/12