The FDA’s position has been that if the DNA introduced is safe for human consumption and the receiving cells are safe for human consumption, the combination is not required to be human safety tested or labeled. This policy is known as “Substantial Equivalence”. That is, these foods are to be considered “substantially” or mostly the same as their natural counterparts.
The FDA does not conduct its own independent study on these foods. FDA merely reviews safety assessments submitted by the biotech industry. Human safety testing is purely voluntary. Monsanto, the largest biotech company has made clear they have no intention or desire to test these foods for human safety.
As a result of these lax regulations, consumers in the US are unable to distinguish between GMOs and natural foods on store shelves.
The situation is much different around the world. 64 nations have either banned or labeled GMOs as a result of their own regulatory review and safety assessments.
Over 130 nations around the world, have signed on to the Cartagena Protocol, an international agreement to take the precautionary principle with regard to all aspects of GMOs.
Increased awareness around the United States is resulting in legislation being introduced in several states to bring mandatory GMO labeling to consumers. Connecticut was the first state to pass GMO labeling legislation, but it is dependent on 5 states passing similar legislation before it goes into effect.
Currently, in Idaho there has been no labeling legislation introduced.