Bioengineered (Genetically Engineered) Foods and Labeling | Policy Briefs

What Do the Labels on Your Food Really Mean? 

September 2018. Mandatory food labels are regulated by the US Food & Drug Administration, whereas voluntary food labels are regulated by the US Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) or other organizations. Food labels can be confusing, and there are advocates and opponents of the practice of voluntary food labels.

View or download a PDF of this issue brief


National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard: Mandatory Labeling of GMO Foods

September 2018. In July 2016, Congress passed a bill requiring companies to label food containing genetically modified organisms. As of September 2018, the specifications of the bill have not been finalized. The major arguments for mandatory labeling include the consumer’s right to know, controversy over genetic engineering, and a lack of trust of the government regulatory process. The major arguments against mandatory labeling include viewing it as a false warning that bioengineered foods are risky, potential reduction of consumer choice, and the potential rise in the cost of food.

View or download a PDF of this issue brief


Safety Assessment of Genetically Engineered Foods: US Policy & Current Science

October 2012. Safety of GE foods is evaluated through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s voluntary consultation process. The FDA can take action if food, including GE food, presents a demonstrable safety risk post-market. Scientific studies testing whole GE food show some mixed results, so statements about all GE foods being safe or unsafe are unwarranted. Strong agreement exists for better testing protocols, especially for allergenicity and whole-food feeding trials.

View or download a PDF of this issue brief