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 March 9, 2018
Hello, and thank you for your question! Scientists commonly use genetically engineering (GE) to add and subtract genes from ALL sorts of plants, from common weeds to potatoes from the Andes. Most GE is performed only to learn how plants work. While it’s relatively simple to change a plant’s genetics, it’s difficult and expensive to actually improve a plant’s genetics. Thus, only the most “important” crops are targets for GE. Smaller improvements are... Read More
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Posted on March 8, 2018
Hello, and thank you for your question! Scientists commonly use genetically engineering (GE) to add and subtract genes from ALL sorts of plants, from common weeds to potatoes from the Andes. Most GE is performed only to learn how plants work. While it’s relatively simple to change a plant’s genetics, it’s difficult and expensive to actually improve a plant’s genetics. Thus, only the most “important” crops are targets for GE. Smaller improvements are... Read More
Posted on March 9, 2018
Anyone who has traveled through the Southeast and seen kudzu vines along the highway knows that plants can evolve into a negative outcome. There is a similar concern that a GMO can produce negative outcomes in the environment.  Therefore, prior to approving their commercial planting, GMOs must be tested in contained field trials to ensure that they do not behave in ways that could cause problems. To prevent negative outcomes, GMOs must not have the ability to cross with wild... Read More

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