GMO Food Labeling Laws Around the World

The lack of regulation in North America is glaring in comparison to the rest of the world.

Photo: Forbes

Photo: Forbes

As debates in the U.S. rage over marijuana prohibition, trans fats, and fast food soft drink sizes, the GMO labeling infographic above illustrates a department in which the U.S. FDA is seriously lacking.

The modern definition of GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) involves genetic engineering, a technique introduced only 40 years ago that alters the DNA of organic matter.

From a health perspective, there is much about the long term effects of GMOs that we don’t know. A majority of global food markets have responded by educating their people, instituting labeling practices that, at the very least, make consumers aware that the food they are purchasing contains genetically engineered material.

The exception is North America, the only continent on Earth that has no such labeling regulations.

The map specifies five levels of regulation—from an all-out ban of genetically engineered food, to countries that have regulations coming into effect at a later date. Take a look at the key below.

key GMO Food Labeling Laws Around the World

Countries as small as Cyprus (population: 1.1 million) demand mandatory labeling of nearly all genetically engineered foods. Russia, recently accused of making “A mockery of democratic practices” by a British Foreign Official, has the same labeling laws in place. Serbia, Zambia, and Benin are the only three countries in the world that have an official ban on GE food imports and cultivation.

ge GMO Food Labeling Laws Around the World

The lack of regulation in North America is glaring in comparison to the rest of the world. The nagging question is why won’t our Food and Drug Administration consider simply informing its citizens of the genetic makeup of the food we are purchasing? Whose interests are they protecting?

Click here to see the enlarged GMO map.

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Related: Dollars over labels: The real fight against GMOs

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