As reported by this blog, many consumers are demanding more information and clarity from food processors and producers and their product labeling. In fact, California citizens will vote whether these companies will have to label if their products use genetically modified ingredients, something that is seeing heavy criticism from manufacturers and increased support from consumers. But, the American Medical Association released a statement recently that announced the labeling to be unnecessary.
The AMA announced that it sees no health purpose in labelling genetically modified foods as will be voted on by citizens in California. Instead, the organization encourages manufacturers and producers to conduct voluntary safety tests that will be paid for by the companies themselves.
"Recognizing the public's interest in the safety of bioengineered foods, the new policy also supports mandatory FDA pre-market systemic safety assessments of these foods as a preventative measure to ensure the health of the public," said AMA's Dr. Patrice Harris. "We Also urge the FDA to remain alert to new data on the health consequences of bioengineered foods."
Advocacy groups for the genetically modified labeling movement lauded the AMA for encouraging testing but chastised the group for not encouraging the requirement of testing or labeling. According the Consumers Union and the Truth In Labeling Campaign, genetically modified foods can introduce new food allergens and even have adverse effects on the animals that eat such foods, despite the AMA claiming there are no negative effects.
While the AMA and FDA may not require manufacturers and producers to test their products for safety, or design custom labels that stipulate the ingredients, it's clear that consumer demand for such products is at a fever pitch.
If producers wish to make the most of this trend, they may want to design custom food labels that communicate the amount of testing and natural or organic ingredients in each product. This will not only provide product clarity, but also conform to the trends being experienced in the food industry.