New guidance paves way to labeling of genetically modified food

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"We are particularly pleased that the new guidance recognizes that GM labeling is justified as a tool for post market monitoring," Michael Hansen, Consumers International's lead delegate to the regulators' meeting in Geneva, said in a statement. "This is one of the key reasons we want all GM foods to be required to be labelled — so that if consumers eat modified foods, they will be able to know and report to regulators if they have an allergic or other adverse reaction."

The organization called the U.S. support for the guidance a "striking reversal," but the Obama administration disputed that characterization, saying it remains opposed to mandatory labeling.

"The adopted text confirms that Codex labeling texts developed for foods generally, also apply to foods derived from modern biotechnology," an administration official said. "This adopted text clarifies that foods derived from modern biotechnology are not necessarily different from other foods simply due to their method of production."

Update: This post was updated at 5 p.m. with comment from the Obama administration.

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