National Environmental
Health Association Resolution Regarding

Genetically Modified Organisms



Adopted by NEHA Board of Directors April 29, 2000

Adopted by NEHA Council of Delegates June 18, 2000



WHEREAS, in 1998 the European Union ruled that food manufacturers must state on a label when genetically modified ingredients have been used, and

WHEREAS, GMO labeling regulations are       

      now (1999) in effect in Europe,        


WHEREAS, NEHA’s counterpart in the United Kingdom, the Chartered Institute For environmental Health has adopted a policy position that supports a five-year freeze against genetically modified organisms, and

WHEREAS, the British Medical Association has recommended that genetically engineered foods be labeled, and

WHEREAS, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have required mandatory GEF labels, and

WHEREAS, an estimated 60% of processed food now contain some genetically engineered foods, and

WHEREAS, legislation has now been introduced into the United States Congress that calls for the labeling of products that contain genetically engineered crops, and

WHEREAS, opposition to labeling based on findings that genetically modified food products are safe discounts issues of consumer sovereignty and bioethical concerns, and

WHEREAS, labeling both upholds and is consistent with the environmental “right to know” value that is core to environmental programs in this country, and

WHEREAS, legitimate consumer interests ranging from a desire to avoid allergic reactions to the opportunity to exercise informed buying decisions are made possible by labeling, and

WHEREAS, a 1992 interim report on a survey by the USDA’s Extension Service revealed that 85% of the American public that was surveyed feel it is important to label foods if biotechnology is used, and

WHEREAS, in a 1999 Time magazine poll, 81% of respondents wanted genetically engineered food labeled,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NEHA declare its support for the "understandable" labeling of any food product that contains GMOs, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any labeling program not exempt soy oil and soy derivatives such as lecithin, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NEHA make public this position, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NEHA lend its support to the passage of H.R. 3883, the Genetically Engineered Food Safety Act, which calls for the labeling of food products that include GMOs.




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