Seeds of Distrust: Federal Regulation of Genetically Modified Foods

This Article describes and evaluates the existing federal regulatory regime for protecting public health from risks posed by foods derived from GM plants. Part I briefly describes the technology involved in genetically modifying plants and relates the ongoing debates over the risks and benefits of GM food plants. Part II examines in detail the regulatory regime that has evolved in the United States to regulate the safety of GM foods, focusing in particular upon the pervasive role that the substantial equivalence doctrine has played in that regime. Finally, Part III suggests a more precautionary approach toward regulating GM foods that should command a higher level of public trust than the substantial equivalence approach.