AMI and Others Urge President to Lobby Leaders on Biotech Food LabelingTuesday, April 24, 2001
AMI and eight other U.S. farm and food groups urged the President to lobby Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretian and other heads of government to reject proposed labeling guidelines for foods produced by biotechnology. The heads of state are now gathered at the Third Summit of the Americas in Quebec City. The April 18, 2001, letter to President George W. Bush noted that Canada will host a meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Commission Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL) in Ottawa May 1-4 where participants will decide whether to accept proposed guidelines for labeling foods derived from modern agricultural biotechnology. This "production method" rationale for labeling is in conflict with the long-standing U.S. science-based policy that food labeling should be mandatory only when there are significant changes in compositional, nutritional or intended use of foods derived from modern biotechnology. It is expected that EU countries will push hard in next week's meeting to establish Codex standards for the labeling of products of biotechnology.