In Spring 2000, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that labeling of GE foods would remain voluntary, even though there is no indication that any company will voluntarily label genetically engineered foods. Meanwhile, the FDA seems poised to make it as difficult as possible for companies who have eliminated GE ingredients to add "NON-GE" labels. These responsible companies will face burdensome regulations, while the FDA lets other companies continue to use GE ingredients in secret.The United States may soon be the only country in the world that does not require labeling of genetically engineered food.

What is the rest of the world doing?

Australia/ New Zealand

Passed legislation requiring the labeling of GE foods in July 2000.

Czech Republic

Senate passed legislation requiring labeling of GE foods in August 2000.

European Union

Legislation to require the labeling of GE foods went into effect in September 1998.

Hong Kong

Legislation requiring labeling of GE foods overwhelmingly approved by Legislative Council in January 2000.


Passed legislation to require labeling of GE foods in April 2000 which went into effect in 2001.


Government required labeling of GE foods as of January 2000.

South Korea

Legislation requiring labeling of GE foods went into effect in 2001.


Required labeling of GE foods in 2001.

Other Regulations and Government Action


Banned imports of GE foods; prohibited planting of GE crops pending full environmental impact assessments.

European Union

Declared a de facto moratorium on approvals of new GE crops in Europe.

France, Austria, Luxembourg and Norway

Banned the planting of certain GE crops.

Greece and Switzerland

Prohibited field trials of certain GE crops.


Local government of Tuscany banned field trials of GE crops.


The Basque government declared a five year moratorium on GE crops in June 1999.

Sri Lanka

Banned imports of GE food.


Banned field trials of all GE crops until genetic modifications are scientifically proven to be safe.