The status of genetically modified foods internationally and in the United States

Farrah Nicole Woloshin, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Biotechnology refers to the broad set of techniques that allow genetic manipulation of organisms. The techniques of biotechnology have broad implications for many industries, however it promises the greatest innovations in the production of products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Like many other powerful new technologies, biotechnology may carry risks as well as benefits. Several of its applications have engendered fervent emotional reactions and raised serious ethical concerns, especially internationally. First, in my paper I discuss the historical and technical background of biotechnology. Second, I examine the development of biotechnology in Europe, the citizens' response to genetically modified (“GM”) foods and the governments' response. Third, I examine the regulation of bioengineered products and foods in the United States. In conclusion, there are various problems with the current status of regulation of GM foods in the United States. These are four basic flaws: (1) the Coordinated Framework allows for too much jurisdictional overlap of biotechnological foods, (2) GM foods are considered GRAS and consequently, are placed on the market without pre-market approval, (3) federal mandatory labeling of GM foods cannot occur until the question of whether or not nondisclosure of a genetic engineering production processes is misleading or material information and (4) an independent state-labeling scheme of GM foods will most likely impede interstate commerce.

Subject Area

Law|Public health

Recommended Citation

Woloshin, Farrah Nicole, "The status of genetically modified foods internationally and in the United States" (2001). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1406496.