The OCA also called on FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg to acknowledge the growing body of scientific evidence that GMOs, and the chemicals required to grow GMO crops, are potentially damaging to human health.
Ronnie Cummins, national director of the OCA questioned FDA’s stance, citing, “The American Medical Association has called for pre-market safety testing of GMOs, and almost 300 scientists and doctors last year signed a statement saying that there is “no scientific consensus on GMO safety.”
PoliticoPro reported that on March 27th, during a House subcommittee hearing on FDA’s proposed budget, Ms. Hamburg said, "We put out a proposed guidance and we hope to finalize that soon. Mandatory labeling really is appropriate when there is a fault claim. The fact that a product contains GE ingredients does not change the material content of the product." She added, “We have not found evidence of safety risks. It's an area that deserves further discussion and study."
The OCA responded to this statement, saying, “If further studies are needed before the FDA can state unequivocally that GMOs are safe for human consumption, then GMOs should be eliminated from the food supply until those further studies have been done,” said Mr. Cummins. “At the very least, products containing GMOs should be clearly labeled, and labeling should be mandatory, so consumers can choose to avoid GMOs if they have any concerns. We should not allow the biotech and food companies to test these products on our families.”
Further, the OCA insists that recent studies have linked GMOs to human health issues, including kidney and liver failure, allergies and cancer.
In late February, FDA announced plans to overhaul its 20-year-old rules governing the nutrition labels on food products. There was no mention of labeling genetically engineered ingredients, despite polls revealing that about 90% of Americans want GMOs labeled, said the OCA
Biotech and food industry lobbyists are also weighing in on the issue, with groups such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), announcing a draft bill that would require FDA to rule against GMO labeling, and also make it legal to label foods containing GMOs as “natural.”
In 1992 FDA ruled that GMOs were “substantially equivalent” to non-GMO ingredients, and that on that basis, no labels were required.