Monday, September 20, 2010

The problem with the FDA

The Washington Post is reporting that the Food and Drug Administration won't require labeling of genetically modified salmon. Now, I certainly don't think any government agency has the right to force anyone to label anything, but what about the producers of conventional foods who want to label their products as non-genetically altered? Well...:
The labeling matter is further complicated because the FDA has maintained a tough stance for food makers who don't use genetically engineered ingredients and want to promote their products as an alternative. The agency allows manufacturers to label their products as not genetically engineered as long as those labels are accurate and do not imply that the products are therefore more healthful.

The agency warned the dairy industry in 1994 that it could not use "Hormone Free" labeling on milk from cows that are not given engineered hormones, because all milk contains some hormones.

It has sent a flurry of enforcement letters to food makers, including B&G Foods, which was told it could not use the phrase "GMO-free" on its Polaner All Fruit strawberry spread label because GMO refers to genetically modified organisms and strawberries are produce, not organisms.

It told the maker of Spectrum Canola Oil that it could not use a label that included a red circle with a line through it and the words "GMO," saying the symbol suggested that there was something wrong with genetically engineered food.

"This to me raises questions about whose interest the FDA is protecting," said Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), who has introduced legislation that would require labeling for genetically engineered food. "They are clearly protecting industry and not the public."

The problem with the FDA (aside from the fact that it is an unaccountable and unconstitutional law-making agency) is that it only serves to perpetuate the corporatist system. So much for the free market.

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