FDA Announcement on Bioengineered Foods “Step Forward but Not Enough”

Statement of Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Science In the Public Interest


 “FDA’s announcement on bioengineered foods is a step forward, but it’s not clear how big a step. Making notification mandatory instead of voluntary is long overdue. It is critical that all the data the agency reviews be publicly available prior to any decision and that the FDA provides a formal comment period after it makes a decision. Ideally, Congress would pass legislation such as Representative Dennis Kucinich’s HR 3883, to give the agency clear instructions on how to regulate biotech foods.

     “The agency’s plan to propose guidelines for labeling foods as free from bioengineered ingredients will be useful to some companies and consumers. However, the FDA’s failure to mandate labeling for foods containing bioengineered ingredients means that it is up to Congress to enact legislation to require such labeling. In any case, CSPI supports FDA’s intention to ensure that all labeling — whether of foods made with or without bioengineered ingredients — is informative and non-misleading.”

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