Competing proposals seek to address fears of genetically modified food

WASHINGTON — A confrontation is drawing near over the labeling of genetically modified foods.

Sixty-four countries require that genetically modified foods be labeled, and three states — Vermont, Connecticut and Maine — have done the same. At least 15 other states are considering such requirements.

And the White House recently announced new plans aimed at getting more Americans to support genetically modified food by increasing the transparency surrounding the regulatory process, the National Journal reports.

But a bill introduced in the U.S. House would block states from requiring labels. Sponsor Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, tells McClatchy that such requirements are unnecessary and would lead to costlier food. His bill would set up a voluntary, nationwide labeling system overseen by the federal government.

The difference between scientific consensus on genetically modified foods and the public’s skepticism is wide.

The federal government, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization have declared all GMOs currently on the market to be safe to eat, McClatchy reports.

But a Pew study finds that 57 of Americans fear they’re not safe, the National Journal reports. And grass roots opinion, they add, is pretty much the same on the political left and right.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up