Monsanto, one of the world's leading producers of genetically engineered foods, doesn't like the idea. It is also the world's largest producer of the herbicide Roundup as well as so-called "Roundup-ready" seeds that have been genetically engineered to resist the pesticide. So, once it seemed like the bill was headed for passage, Monsanto threatened to sue. The strong-arm tactic worked.
Unlike people in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, China, Russia, New Zealand and other countries where labels are required, Americans don't know if the food they eat has been genetically altered.
There was concern among scientists at the FDA in the 1990s that genetically engineered foods could have new and different risks such as hidden allergens, increased plant-toxin levels and the potential to hasten the spread of antibiotic-resistant disease. Those concerns were largely brushed aside. Today, unanswered questions remain. In the United States, resolutions calling for labeling of genetically engineered foods were passed by the American Public Health Association and the American Nurses Association.
The Consumers Right to Know about Genetically Engineered Food Amendment is about allowing states to honor the wishes of their residents and allowing consumers to know what they're eating. Americans want this information. It is time that Congress affirms the right of states to give it to them.