Washington, DC - The federal government’s decision to allow marketing of genetically engineered apples that are resistant to browning underscores the need for a transparent and consistent national labeling standard, said Environmental Working Group today.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said today it will permit biotech company Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. to market two varieties of GMO apples.
“The non-browning, Arctic apples are some of the first GMO whole foods to reach the U.S. market,” said Mary Ellen Kustin, EWG senior policy analyst. “As we see this GMO fruit hit the stands, it only becomes more important to have a clear labeling requirement to ensure that American consumers have the information they crave and deserve to know.”
Polls show that more than 90 percent of American consumers want to know more about the food they are eating and favor GMO labeling, a right held by citizens in 64 countries around the world.
Just yesterday, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) introduced the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act. The bill would direct the Food and Drug Administration to require that food manufacturers label foods that contain GMOs.
“With even more toxic compounds, like 2,4-D and dicamba, being approved for use on GMO crops, and now the green light for the Artic® apple, it’s time for Congress to give consumers the power to make informed decisions about the food they are buying,” Kustin added.