Push For Genetically-Altered Foods Labeling

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. February 21, 2013

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Advocates hold Statehouse news conference to push for label requirement (photo by Phil Gregory)

A coalition of consumer and environmental groups is urging New Jersey to become the first state to require the labeling of genetically engineered foods.

Stephanie Harris with the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey says over 80 percent of corn and soybean crops are now grown with genetically modified seeds, but consumers aren’t aware that’s what they’re eating.

 “The health risks today are not entirely known, and many consumers feel that they do not want to be the guinea pigs of the industry in order to find out 20 years down the road what the health risks are.”

Jim Walsh with Food and Water Watch says requiring the generically altered foods to be labeled could influence what’s produced.

 “Consumers if they don’t want to buy this stuff they producers are going to start growing different products. Right now consumers have no way of knowing what products they’re eating and consuming, whether they’ve been genetically engineered or not. This will simply give consumers a choice in that matter, and suppliers will meet demand.”

The New Jersey Food Council which represents retailers maintains genetically modified foods are safe, and the labeling requirement would add hundreds of dollars to family grocery bills.


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