Jonathan Adler


Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here, and I appreciate the invitation. What I want to talk about are some legal issues relating to labeling and, in particular, constitutional issues relating to mandatory labeling for genetically modified foods or food products that may contain genetically modified components. This is a separate issue from whether or not the FDA, or some other agency, has sufficient statutory authority at present to mandate labeling, and that is something worth discussing. Even if they do have such authority, or even if Congress tomorrow were to give the FDA such authority or were to require the FDA to impose labels on genetically modified foods, or if a state sought, to impose mandatory labeling requirements on genetically modified foods as was proposed in Oregon, there are many reasons to wonder whether such requirements would be held constitutional under the Supreme Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence with regard to commercial speech.