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Colorado Dismisses Labeling Genetically Modified Foods

by Brenda Evans, published

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The House of Representatives Health, Insurance and Environment Committee in Denver voted 7-2 against House Bill 903, introduced by State Rep. Jeanne Labuda, calling for the labeling of genetically engineered food.

After a five hour hearing, the committee decided that labeling should be determined at the federal level rather than the state level. Following the decision, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) announced they will co-sponsor a bill that would make GMO labels a federal requirement. Share the news: Tweet

Farmers and food producers who opposed the bill argued that a label requirement is not necessary as the FDA has found no health or safety differences between conventionally produced and GMO foods. According to the opponents of the bill, labeling would cause an increase in food prices. Tweet it: Tweet

Proponents of labeling GMOs claim they have a right to know what foods they are consuming. Although American Association for the Advancement of Science has defended the crops' safety, Boulder iJournal states that some independent, peer-reviewed research suggests that GMOs can deteriorate liver and kidney functions and impair embryonic development.

According to the Boulder iJournal, more than 50 countries around the world either significantly restrict or outright ban the production and sale of GMOs. Share: Tweet

It is not just health and safety concerns that have activists pushing against GMOs. As in the case of Bowman v. Monsanto Co, GMO seeds have caused legal battles over the improper use of patented seeds.

As with any relatively new technology, there are plenty of uncertainties and new issues that need to be addressed.

With the growing push for labeling genetically modified foods, Whole Foods announced it will work with suppliers as they transition to sourcing non-GMO ingredients or to clearly label products with ingredients containing GMOs by 2018.

Whole Foods Co-Chief Executive Officer, Walter Robb, stated that they expect to meet key milestones of the project well before the five year mark.

"We heard our customers loud and clear asking us for GMO labeling and we are responding where we have control: in our own stores," Robb said.

Although Robb supports a federal GMO labeling law, he stated that Whole Foods is working to address the consumer demands as immediately as possible.

With multiple states, companies and organizations addressing this issue, do you think it is important to have such foods labeled? Ask on Twitter: Tweet

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