PAUL KING, A FreeLANCe wrITer BASeD IN eLMHUrS T, ILLINOIS, HAS MOre THAN 30 Ye ArS’ ex PerIeNCe COverING THe FOODServ ICe INDUS Tr Y.
MOS T reCeN TLY, He wAS eDI TOr OF FOODSERVICE DIRECTOR, AND HAS ALSO wOrKeD FOr FOOD MANAGEMENT AND NATION’S RESTAURANT NEWS.
As a result, the bill, which had passed the House of Representatives, was rejected by the Senate.
A compromise measure, signed by President Obama in August, mandates labeling, although it gives
manufacturers three ways to achieve this—one of which is a QR code that consumers would have to
scan to learn whether the food contains GMOs.
That type of solution doesn’t please Diane Kochilas, a chef consultant and teacher who specializes
in Greek cuisine. “Absolutely, foods should be labeled, and prominently, so people know what they are
buying,” she says. “I can’t believe we have been duped into thinking this should even be an issue.”
Kochilas, who divides her time between New York, Athens and Ikaria, an island in the Eastern
Aegean, runs a small restaurant and cooking school on Ikaria each summer.
Sal Cantalupo, corporate chef for Corporate Image Dining Services, Stamford, Connecticut,
says labeling products containing GMOs is a necessary and logical progression. “We live in a
‘state of awareness’ society,” he says. “It is amazing the lengths we have gone to for labeling.
Everything, it seems, is there. GMOs are about the only thing left.”
Despite opposition, companies continue to work on genetically modifying not only plants
but livestock and fish to create desirable traits.
Diekman says he believes that money will ultimately decide the fate of GMOs in food. “The
dollar will determine the outcome. Manufacturers make products that people want. Consumers
have a voice, and they express their voice every time they buy food. If they stop buying genetically
modified foods, then producers will change.”