QHow would the labeling of GMOs affect both the consumers and the producers?

How would the labeling of GMOs affect both the consumers and the producers?

AExpert Answer

Let’s start with the farmers first. In this post on GMO Answers, Jennie Schmidt, a Maryland farmer and registered dietitian, outlines the extensive process of getting food from her “farm gate to grocery shelf.” Jennie details the potential crop production and segregation requirements, and the very large associated costs, which would be incurred by farmers due to proposed mandatory labeling requirements.

 

Farmers can’t simply absorb these additional expenses without any impact farther down the food value chain. These increased costs for farmers would eventually result in increased prices for us consumers. William Lesser from Cornell University writes in this report that families would see an average annual increase of approximately $500 in their grocery bills. This Freakonomics article also describes how a mandatory label would impact food availability and cost in your grocery store. Finally, in this post, Jane Palmer, a science writer based in Boulder, CO, discusses her research about the potential for increased food prices and her concern that her “’right to know’ might affect someone else’s ‘right to choose’, or even worse their ‘right to eat.’”

 

Consumers currently do have choice in the marketplace. For those who want to purchase GMO-free foods, they can look for USDA’s certified organic label or other voluntary non-GMO or GM-free marketing labels. Additionally, you can learn more here and here about what foods are GMO and those that are not.

AExpert Answer

Let’s start with the farmers first. In this post on GMO Answers, Jennie Schmidt, a Maryland farmer and registered dietitian, outlines the extensive process of getting food from her “farm gate to grocery shelf.” Jennie details the potential crop production and segregation requirements, and the very large associated costs, which would be incurred by farmers due to proposed mandatory labeling requirements.

 

Farmers can’t simply absorb these additional expenses without any impact farther down the food value chain. These increased costs for farmers would eventually result in increased prices for us consumers. William Lesser from Cornell University writes in this report that families would see an average annual increase of approximately $500 in their grocery bills. This Freakonomics article also describes how a mandatory label would impact food availability and cost in your grocery store. Finally, in this post, Jane Palmer, a science writer based in Boulder, CO, discusses her research about the potential for increased food prices and her concern that her “’right to know’ might affect someone else’s ‘right to choose’, or even worse their ‘right to eat.’”

 

Consumers currently do have choice in the marketplace. For those who want to purchase GMO-free foods, they can look for USDA’s certified organic label or other voluntary non-GMO or GM-free marketing labels. Additionally, you can learn more here and here about what foods are GMO and those that are not.

 

Posted on July 21, 2017
Food production is affected by numerous factors, such as the amount of rain the crop receives, the quality of the soil, the number of weeds that compete for soil nutrients and moisture and the number of insects that feed on the crop. GMOs can’t address all of these factors, but they can address two important ones: weeds and insects.   Each weed that grows in a field takes soil nutrients and moisture away from a food plant. The more resources that are used by weeds, the less food... Read More
Posted on July 21, 2017
No single crop or food production method is capable of feeding the world on its own, so no, GMOs by themselves will not feed the world. However, as part of a global strategy to improve global food security, GMOs can have a tremendously positive contribution to feeding the world.   Current food production methods result in an estimated 800 million people being food insecure, with a further 1.2 billion not receive a sufficient level of nutritious food on a daily basis. The Food and... Read More
Posted on March 28, 2017
Thanks for the question, which I will address in two ways here.   1. What are three ways that organisms are modified by scientists? Here I will focus only on plants.   a. Agrobacterium: Agrobacterium tumefaciens (Agro) is a naturally occurring soil organism that causes a disease in plants called crown gall disease. In the late 1970s, Mary-Dell Chilton discovered that Agro actually transfers genes (DNA) from the Agro to the plant cell, where it becomes integrated into the plant... Read More

Explore More Topics