The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday proposed rules for companies to voluntarily label foods that aren’t genetically engineered — but it refused requests from environmental and consumer groups to require mandatory labels on all foods that are genetically engineered. The proposed rules, now open for public comment, would also require companies to notify the government before marketing new genetically engineered foods. But critics said the rules would not require that the foods be thoroughly tested to show that they were safe for human consumption and wouldn’t harm the environment. Needless to say, big-business food companies are mighty happy with the proposals. Meanwhile, Japan has asked the U.S. to explain why American corn imports have been found to contain the genetically engineered corn StarLink, which is banned in Japan.

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