In a 7–2 vote, lawmakers in Colorado have rejected a bill (H.B.1192) that would have defined “genetically engineered” and required a person selling, distributing or offering food for sale in Colorado to identify genetically engineered (GE) food with the following label: “This product contains genetically engineered material or was produced with genetically engineered material.”

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Jeanne Labuda (D-Denver), who, according to
a news source, says that consumers deserve to know more about how their
food is produced and argues that food producers already have to label foods
containing certain additives or allergens.

Opponents of the bill, including many farmers and food retailers, reportedly claim that requiring labels for GE foods would significantly affect family farmers and increase the cost of food for all Colorado citizens. “Much of the dialogue surrounding this topic seems to be filled with fear and innuendo, as opposed to being well researched, thoughtful and fact based. The requirement to place what will be construed as a warning label on products that contain genetically modified material infers that the product is inferior or even dangerous . . . In fact, the USDA, the FDA and the AMA have all publicly stated that GE products are safe for human consumption,” said a fifth generation peach grower in a Colorado Farm Bureau news release. See, February 21, 2013; Farm Bureau Colorado Press Release, February 21, 2013.

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.