If you were hoping there might be some change in the U.S. government's official position on genetically modified and genetically engineered (GM/GE) foods under the Obama administration, tough luck.
Last month there was the appointment of big-time GM/GE advocate (and former Monsanto lobbyist) Islam Siddiqui to Office of the United States Trade Representative as the country's chief agricultural negotiator . Now comes a position paper from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that opposes labeling for genetically modified food. The U.S. claims that letting consumers know whether or not food contains GM/GE products is "false, misleading, or deceptive."
You read that correctly. In Obama Newspeak, telling the public the truth is false, misleading, or deceptive, while concealing facts is not. Incidentally, the language is identical to that used by previous administrations. How's that for change?
The policy prompted yowls of outrage form more than 80 organic, environmental, food-production, and public-health groups. They dispatched a letter earlier this week urging Michael Taylor, who is deputy commissioner for foods at the FDA, and Kathleen Merrigan, deputy secretary of agriculture, to reconsider (click here for a PDF). "We are concerned that the current U.S. position could potentially create serious problems for food processors in the U.S. who wish to indicate that their products contain no GE ingredients, including on organic food," the letter said.