Docket Management
Docket: 00D-1598 - Voluntary Labeling Indicating Whether Foods Have Been Developed Using Bioengineering
Comment Number: EC -125

Accepted - Volume 28

Comment Record
Commentor Mr. Timothy Burke Date/Time 2001-02-13 14:15:19
Organization Mr. Timothy Burke
Category Individual

Comments for FDA General
Questions
1. General Comments I am incensed that the FDAs own polling of Consumers (Story in the Oregonian's live web site oregonlive.com) indicate that the majority of consumers strongly prefer labeling of genetically modified foods, yet the FDA asks for voluntary labeling. Voluntary labeling already exists. When I go to the health food store, there are many products that advertise that they do not contain genetically modified foods. However I have to travel out of my way to go to a specialty store and pay a premium in order to avoid genetically modified foods. What will voluntary labeling do to help this situation? In modern society the only way I can feed myself is by going to the grocery store. As a consumer I have the right to know more about the food that is on the grocery store shelves. I want to know if a product contains genetically modified materials. I do not support genetic engineering not because I believe that it is morally or ethically wrong, or that the food created from such methods is unhealthy or unsafe. I oppose genetically modified foods because I believe that the biotechnology industry is changing a genetic system that we as a race do not yet understand. The complexities of DNA in a living system are not yet understood thoroughly enough to allow those driven by greed to start playing around with the system. The unintended consequences could destroy the planet. Therefore I personally oppose genetic engineering and I do not want to support it financially. However in these days of two barley distinguishable political parties, the only vote I have that really counts is where I spend my money. If, because of FDA rules or lack thereof, I cannot make educated decisions about what I want to support economically then what kind of country do we live in? I am not asking the FDA to ban genetically modified food or to agree with my point of view regarding genetic engineering. I am simply asking the FDA to allow me to have a choice about genetically modified foods. The FDA has a responsibility to the people of America, not to the biotech interests. The biotech industry is scared of genetically modified mandatory labeling because they know people will not economically support genetically modified foods. If this is based on ignorance on the part of the American people then let the biotech industry educate the country on this topic through advertising. That is their right. Allowing the biotech industry to slip genetically modified food into the food supply by not requiring labeling is an irresponsible and moral objectionable abuse of power. That is why I must insist that the FDA live up to its obligation to the American people and work strongly to force the biotech industry to agree to mandatory labeling by banning all genetically modified foods from the marketplace until they agree.




EC -125