The Obama administration shows no sign of changing the government's position on labeling of biotech foods despite a renewed effort by consumer advocacy groups and environmental organizations require manufacturers to disclose the use of genetically engineered ingredients.
Jose Fernandez, the State Department's assistant secretary for economic, energy and business affairs, said today that such labeling would scare consumers away from those foods.
"If you label something there's an implication there's something wrong with it," said Fernandez, speaking on a panel organized by CropLife International, a group that represents Monsanto, DuPont and other biotech giants.
The State Department has been working along with the Agriculture Department to encourage foreign countries to permit the production and use of biotech crops.
The European Union as well as Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and other countries already require biotech food labeling. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has long taken the position that ingredients need not be labeled based on crop breeding methods.