Bill Would Have FDA Decide on Labeling Genetically Modified Food

Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo is pushing a bill in Congress that would shift responsibility for any labeling of genetically modified foods to the hands of the federal government, potentially stopping the efforts underway in many states to mandate labels on such foods.

Pompeo, who represents an agricultural district in south-central Kansas, said that all evidence to date indicates genetically modified foods are safe. If there does need to be labeling, he said, there should be uniform standards for it, rather than a patchwork of laws and regulations among the states.

“What we can say for sure is that biotechnology has made food safer and more abundant,” Pompeo, a Republican, said in a conference call Wednesday. And the bevy of proposals around the country will make it “enormously difficult to operate a food system.”

Proponents of labels for genetically modified foods jumped on the proposal as a favor to the Grocery Manufacturers Association and agricultural corporations that make food and genetically modified seeds for use by America’s farmers.