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 April 18, 2018
GMO Answers provides the facts that answer questions related to biotechnology, GM crops and agriculture. We work to ensure that the content and answers provided by experts and companies are accurate and therefore do not present opinions about GMOs, simply facts. GMO Answers is a community focused on constructive discussion about GMOs in order to have open conversations about agriculture and GMOs. This website is funded by the Council for Biotechnology Information. The Council... Read More
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The UPC (Universal Product Code) is a barcode (which has numbers beneath it) which identifies the product and the manufacturer. I think you may be thinking of the PLU (Price Look Up) code which is the 4 or 5 digit number on produce used to link a price with an item. The PLU code is a voluntary program that assigns numbers to produce items, this helps cashiers identify the correct price for a produce item. Growers/Packers can use the number "9" prefix to this 4-digit numeric code to... Read More
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