Genetically modified food labeling bill pre-filed in New Mexico Senate

January 15, 2013

According to Food Safety News, a bill to mandate the labeling of food and commercial feed containing genetically modified material has been pre-filed in the New Mexico State Senate. Sponsored by Senator Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) Senate Bill (SB) 18 amends the New Mexico Food Act and would apply to any food, drink, or chewing gum for humans or animals. The new law defines any product containing more than 1% of a genetically modified material as a product that would require a disclosure label on the “immediate container” or wrapper. It would require the label to be “easily legible.”

The 16-page New Mexico bill defines “genetically modified material” as a substance that has been produced, enhanced, or otherwise modified “through the use of recombinant, deoxyribonucleic aid technology, genetic engineering, or bioengineering.”

Rule-making authority is given to the state’s environmental improvement board, which is required to “establish standards for measuring and quantifying the amount of genetically modified material in food.” The New Mexico Department of the Environment is given the power to conduct investigations to “verify the accuracy of labeling of food products pursuant to the New Mexico Food Act.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which sets labeling requirements for food and beverages in the U.S., does not require disclosure when genetically modified ingredients are used because such changes do not make food more or less safe.

Food Safety News article