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Maryland Legislator Introduces Bill That Would Mandate Labeling Genetically Engineered Foods

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on February 13, 2013 - 4:44pm

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Are those strawberries you're buying genetically engineered? How about the ingredients in that supposedly natural box of granola? A bill introduced by a Maryland legislator would make it easier for consumers to find out.

Last week Maryland State Delegate Glen Glass introduced a bill that would require food manufacturers to include labels on products that have genetically engineered ingredients in them. Under the provisions of the bill, any food product that was genetically engineered would have to be labeled as such, either bearing a warning notifying that the product is "Genetically Engineered" or "Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering." Additionally, it would be unlawful for such products to advertise themselves as "natural," "naturally grown" or "all natural."

According to a New York Times article on the fight for the labeling of genetically engineered foods, at least 20 states across the country are considering labeling requirements. Voters in Washington state will soon be able to vote on a ballot initiative that would mandate labeling; a similar initiative failed in California last year after intense lobbying from the food industry.

Last year the Maryland General Assembly approved a ban on the use of arsenic in chicken feed, and that ban went into effect last month.

Originally published in DCist.

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