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The debate about the need to label genetically modified organism (GMO) foods continues to rage, with legislation pending in New Hampshire and Rhode Island, and laws already passed in Connecticut and Maine that make such labeling mandatory. Pro-labelers argue that people have a right to know what's in their food. Meanwhile, labeling opponents point out that there is no proven adverse health effect currently attributed to genetically modified foods, and therefore a labeling requirement would be premature at best, and likely unnecessary. 

Labeling laws raise First Amendment issues, as well as potential conflicts between state and federal laws. But some consumers, fearful of the potential unknown harm of GMOs, continue to advocate for more widespread adoption of labeling laws like the ones growing in popularity in the Northeast. 

question of whether it's necessary to label a food or product that might possibly cause harm, we don't know yet, as opposed to labeling a food or product that carries a known and documented risk. 

Lacking conclusive proof that GMO foods cause harm, it would be difficult for an individual to pursue a legal case claiming that such a food did in fact cause some sort of harm that was not attributable to something else. At the same time, if GMO foods do end up proving harmful in some documentable way, manufacturers could find themselves facing a flurry of lawsuits. 

The continuing debate over GMOs will be one to watch as legislation evolves and we amass more information showing that these foods are or are not dangerous for the general public to eat. If you have questions about your right to know what's in your food, a products liability lawyer can give you some perspective and historical insight. 

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