What is in this article?:
- 1 million Americans tell FDA to label genetically engineered foods
- New research shows GE labeling support spans demographics
The pressure's on for FDA to respond to the Just Label It campaign's petition in favor of labeling genetically engineered (GE) foods. Will record-breaking numbers and new research finally coerce FDA to label GMOs?
Today, March 27, is the date on which FDA is required to respond to the Just Label It campaign's petition to label genetically engineered (GE) foods. It's also a day that will go down in history, as the campaign has collected a record-breaking 1 million signatures in favor of GE labeling—more than any other food petition previously submitted to the FDA.
Since October, the Just Label It national campaign has gathered the support of 500 diverse partner organizations. It took less than 180 days to accumulate the record number of comments. According to the campaign, 1 million comments translates into someone speaking out to support GE labeling every 30 seconds for an entire year.
"This is a campaign that's gaining momentum," said Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield chairman and Just Label It partner, during a press Webinar. "We never would have dreamt that we'd hit a million… This is not a fad and it will not soon pass."
The campaign says it is reasonable to assume that the FDA will respond today, the 180th day, because FDA is required to respond to filed petitions within that time frame. As to the nature of the agency's response:
"FDA will likely say they are studying the matter," said Sue McGovern, Just Label It spokesperson. "At some point however they will need to respond yes or no. If no, the next step is the courts."
April 2 Update: Shortly after this story was published, the FDA told the Just Label It campaign that it had made no decision on GE labeling and needed more time. It also told the organization that its 1 million comments only counted as 394, due to regulations which stipulate that any amount of signatures (say 10,000) on the same form letter only count as one comment.