Oregon GM-food ballot question draws FDA bluster

OCT. 9, 2002: Labeling food containing genetically modified ingredients would cause big problems for food manufacturers, the federal government has warned Oregon's governor. The state’s voters have the option to pass Measure 27 on election day that would require labeling of all food sold in the state.

USA Today reported that the deputy commission of the Food and Drug Administration claimed that the measure “would impermissibly interfere with manufacturers’ ability to market their products on a nationwide basis.” The letter stopped short of promising FDA intervention if the measure passes.

The EU and Japan already require products with GM ingredients to be labelled as such. In fact, the EU is currently tightening up its labelling legislation with the effect that, from 17 October, any foods with more than 1 percent GM content must carry GM labelling. If Measure 27 were passed, Oregon would become the first state to require labelling of GM foods.

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