U.S. & Canada Fall Short in GMO Labeling

Unlike many other countries, the U.S. and Canada do not require mandatory labeling of genetically modified (GMO) food. Canada is currently working to overhaul its food labeling in a process called the Food Labeling Modernization initiative

Read more about GMOs

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) began the third phase of public input about improving food labeling in December. There is something conspicuously absent from the initiative: The labeling of GMOs. The Epoch Times emailed the CFIA for comment and they said “companies can voluntarily add information about whether a particular food contains genetically modified organisms (GMO).” The CFIA also told the Epoch Times that “there is already guidance on method-of-production labeling for these foods.”

The CFIA is working in conjunction with Health Canada to improve food labels. On Health Canada’s website, the agency dismissed safety concerns for GMOs because it has a “clear and stringent process for evaluating the safety of foods derived through genetic modification.” The agency also states that through its safety assessments it demonstrates that “novel food” such as GMOs are “as safe and nutritious as foods already on the Canadian marketplace.”

Health Canada ignores what the Canadian people want. For over 20 years, poll after poll has shown that Canadians want GMO foods labeled. A 2015 Ipsos Reid poll found that 88 percent of Canadians want mandatory labeling of GMOs. 

Health Canada also ignores studies that question the safety of GMOs. One of those studies, published in 2011, found pesticides GMO crops are engineered to tolerate in maternal, fetal, and non-pregnant women’s blood. The researchers were Canadian. 

Last summer, then-President Obama signed a bill into law that has been called the DARK Act by critics, which stands for Denying Americans the Right To Know. The bill struck down the GMO labeling laws of Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine. Although the bill requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create a GMO labeling standard, it also allows food producers to choose how they will label their products.

By contrast to both Canada and the U.S., EU countries require that GMO food be labeled. Specifically, the EU requires farmers or food and feed producers who introduce a product into the supply chain to indicate that the product or certain ingredients is GMO. For pre-packaged food, all GMO ingredients must state that they are “genetically modified.” 

Read more about GMO labeling

By Gina-Marie Cheeseman| January 28, 2017
Categories:  Live

About the Author

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer armed with a passion for healthy living and a degree in journalism. Hailing from the dry, sunny Central San Joaquin Valley, she hasn't let the heat fry her brain!

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