Measure for Measure
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has added its voice to those of the agriculture, biotechnology, and food-processing industries in opposing Oregon’s ballot measure 27, which would require labeling of genetically modified foods sold in the state. In a letter sent Friday to Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), FDA Deputy Commissioner Lester Crawford said that GM foods “are as safe as their conventional counterparts” and called the measure both unnecessary and contrary to the agency’s guidelines. The letter also stated that mandatory labeling of such foods “fails to provide material facts concerning the safety or nutritional aspects of food and may be misleading to consumers.” Donna Harris of Oregon Concerned Citizens for Safe Food said she was not surprised by the FDA’s stance: “This isn’t a new thing for them. For years, consumers have been writing letters to the FDA to let them know that they have wanted labeling” — all to no avail.