The Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods Debate

Vol. 28 No. 1

Ms. Burgaard is an attorney with Morris Polich Purdy LLP in Los Angeles, California, and a member of the editorial board of Natural Resources & Environment.

Genetic engineering allows scientists to splice a specific gene that exhibits certain traits into a plant without the trial and error of selective breeding. Today, upwards of 70 percent of processed foods contain genetically modified (GM) ingredients, which originate in a lab when a plant’s genetic makeup is changed or altered. See Center for Food Safety, “Genetically Engineered Crops.” Nearly 85 percent of U.S. corn is genetically engineered, according to the Center for Food Safety, as is 91 percent of soybeans and 88 percent of cotton—which produces the cottonseed oil often used in food products. Id.

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