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.