OK, so the FDA seems unlikely to require the probably-soon-to-be-approved GM salmon to be labelled. See this story by Lyndsey Layton, for the Washington Post: FDA rules won’t require labeling of genetically modified salmon
…As the Food and Drug Administration considers whether to approve genetically modified salmon, one thing seems certain: Shoppers staring at fillets in the seafood department will find it tough to pick out the conventional fish from the one created with genes from another species.
Despite a growing public demand for more information about how food is produced, that won’t happen with the salmon because of idiosyncracies embedded in federal regulations.
The FDA says it cannot require a label on the genetically modified food once it determines that the altered fish is not “materially” different from other salmon – something agency scientists have said is true….
But apparently the FDA “not requiring” labelling is easily mistaken for “not permitting” labelling. See, for instance, this story from Raw Story: FDA won’t allow food to be labeled free of genetic modification: report. As far as I can tell, the Raw Story just gets it wrong. According to the Washington Post story (which Raw Story cites)…
The agency allows manufacturers to label their products as not genetically engineered as long as those labels are accurate and do not imply that the products are therefore more healthful.
Now, it’s true that the FDA doesn’t permit misleading forms of labelling. And so (for example) the Washington Post story points out that the FDA has reprimanded food companies that have been sloppy in their use of various sorts of “GM-Free” labels. But that’s only fair. I am strongly in favour of permitting clear and accurate voluntary labelling, but that labelling must be done in such a way that it actually informs consumers — all kinds of consumers — rather than confusing them further.