The Council for Biotechnology Information was part of a large coalition of California family farmers, doctors, scientists, food producers, grocers, small business and taxpayer groups that was formed to defeat Proposition 37. We opposed Prop 37 because this poorly-written measure would have mandated that misleading and confusing information be provided to consumers. In addition, it would have unnecessarily increased food costs for California consumers and would have spawned frivolous lawsuits against farmers, grocers and food companies.
California voters have rejected this poorly written and costly measure. In doing so, they expressed their support for science and reason-based policy. Prop 37 was a poorly-written mandate, aimed at disparaging one production method in favor of others. The voters were right to reject it.
We continue to support the FDA’s food labeling policy, which is that labeling should be used to indicate “any significant differences in the food itself.” The FDA says it has no information to indicate that bioengineered food crops are different “in any meaningful or material way” from their conventionally produced counterparts.
The industry will continue to move forward with developing innovations to feed and fuel the world.
Recently, there’s been some misinformation circulating about foods that contain biotech ingredients and regulations governing food labeling. Below, get the scientific facts on biotech food safety from the international science community:
1. Biotech Foods are safe to eat
Biotech crops have been cultivated for more than 15 years, and food derived from agricultural biotechnology have been eaten by billions of people without any significant health problems. And, even before the introduction of biotech crops, nature has constantly modified crops as part of the natural balance of gene selection.
2. The Leading Scientific authorities declare biotech crops are safe
The world’s top scientific authorities - such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization the World Health Organization, the National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences, the American Medical Association and the American Dietetic Association have concluded that foods containing biotech ingredients pose no more risk to people than any other food.
3. The U.S. authorities responsible for regulating biotech products declare they are safe
The Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection will not approve biotech products until they are proven safe for human consumption and safe for the environment.
4. Biotech Foods are “indistinguishable” from foods produced through traditional methods
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations state that requiring the labeling of foods that are indistinguishable from foods produced with biotech ingredients would mislead consumers by falsely implying differences where none exist.
For more information on biotech labeling, visit: http://www.bio.org/sites/default/files/200103biotech_ag_faq_1.pdf and the FDA’s Guidance for Food Labeling