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Whole lotta sense

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The Whole Foods Market chain, with 121 stores nationwide (including several in the metro area) is putting its muscle behind an effort to get the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to tighten its regulatory reins on the producers of genetically engineered foods.

The agency is currently proposing voluntary labeling of genetically modified foods, and is making no requirements that such foods be tested for safety before hitting the market.

“Only mandatory labeling fulfills our customers’ desires to make conscious choices about buying GE foods,” informed Margaret Wittenberg, vice president of government and public affairs for Whole Foods Market. “The FDA’s new proposal — that requires food producers to notify the agency before marketing a GE food — is missing a very important component: mandatory safety testing.”

As it stands now, labels notifying customers that foods have been genetically modified are merely voluntary. Same with premarket safety testing.

The comment period on the proposed rules ends April 3. To help the agency see the light, the food chain has launched a letter-writing campaign that includes offering “feedback postcards” addressed to the FDA at its stores.

For more information, you can contact Susan Bellinson in Ann Arbor at 734-668-8620.

News Hits is edited by Metro Times news editor Curt Guyette. He can be reached at

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