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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hundreds Rally in Washington to Demand GMO Labeling

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of people from around the United States rallied in front of the White House on Sunday, urging the government to require compulsory labeling of food made from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

"Most Americans agree they have a right to know what is in the food they put in their own and their children's bodies, but current federal policy favors the pesticide industry and hides the facts," said Katherine DiMatteo of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements.

"It's time to reset U.S. policy on GMOs," added DiMatteo, who serves as a coordinator of the event.

GMOs have caused a lot of issues, but "the government is not doing everything that they should be doing to contain these issues," Kim Mendoza, a demonstrator from Washington D.C., told Xinhua.

The rally marked the end of a 16-day, 504-km march from the United Nations in New York City to the White House in Washington D.C., which DiMatteo said was "an unprecedented effort to win genuine transparency on genetically engineered foods."

The United States is the world's largest commercial grower of GMO crops, and more than 70 percent of its processed food contain genetically engineered or biotech ingredients.

Labeling of genetically modified food, whose safety remains controversial, is voluntary in the United States. In most cases, food producers use the labels to declare that the product is not genetically-modified.

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