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Genetically Modified Foods And Free Speech

Publication Date: 
February 25, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Rosie Mestel

Professor Hank Greely spoke with the Los Angeles Times' Rosie Mestel on food labeling and how the law doesn't necessarily require companies to disclose whether their ingredients have been genetically modified.  

Consumers who believe they have a right to know whether their food contains genetically modified ingredients are pressing lawmakers, regulators and voters to require labels on altered foods. But even if they succeed, experts say there's no guarantee that labels identifying genetically engineered foods would ever appear on packages.

"People are usually surprised to learn that there is no legal right to know," said Michael Rodemeyer, an expert on biotechnology policy at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.


"It's an unsettled area in the law," said Hank Greely, director of the Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences in Palo Alto. "If I were a betting man, I think the odds are good that the Supreme Court would ... strike down a GMO labeling requirement."