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  • Lynne Finnerty's picture
    Lynne Finnerty
    I think it is really important for consumer protection that there be a distinction between labeling due to consumer preferences, which should remain voluntary, versus labeling due to health and safety concerns, which is and should be required. A perfect example is the labeling or organic foods, which is voluntary, as it should be. That's because there is no health or safety reason to require labeling of organic foods; it's only a label to help consumers find foods that meet their personal preferences. If you're an organic farmer or food manufacturer, you are not required to label your products as organic. Of course, most of them do because they can charge a higher price. It would and should be the same with non-biotech foods. There is no health or safety risk from consuming biotech foods; however, consumers may want to find non-biotech foods easily if that's the sort of food they want to buy and for which they are willing to pay a higher price. If we don't preserve mandatory labeling for actual health and safety issues, labels won't have as much meaning or usefulness for consumers--especially those who can't afford to or don't want to pay premium prices but certainly want to be protected from eating too many of the foods that could negatively affect their health. There's a big difference.
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