QIf the technology is safe enough why should labeling be shied away?

If the technology is safe enough why should labeling be shied away?

AExpert Answer

We understand this point of view, but here’s the issue. Labels are intended to clarify not confuse. Yes, in the case of GMOs, they have the potential to be very misleading. I’ve examined this topic and developed a post that may be of interest on the Truth About Trade & Technology blog, available here: http://www.truthabouttrade.org/2013/08/22/food-labels-maxed-out/.

 

Below is an excerpt which addresses your question:

 

“The purpose of a food label is to help consumers make smart decisions about what to buy and eat. But what if these labels confused people instead of informed them? Or worse yet, what if labels actually misled consumers?

 

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The dangers of deceptive labeling aren’t a speculative assertion, but rather the main point of a recent paper by Juanjuan Zhang, a marketing professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ‘Mandatory disclosure of GMOs in food products lowers consumers’ perceived GMO safety,’ she writes in ‘Policy and Inference: The Case of Product Labeling.’

 

Zhang’s research reveals that the mere act of labeling food that contains GMOs is deceptive. It causes consumers to suspect that GMOs are dangerous, even though the safety of biotech food is beyond reasonable doubt, as organizations ranging from the American Medical Association to the World Health Organization have determined.

 

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Supporters of the “just label it” movement like to talk about “the right to know.” Yet Zhang’s scholarship shows that consumer behavior is more complicated than a political slogan. Labels possess the power to mislead. That means our lawmakers must mandate them sparingly, and not just because a few special interest groups want the federal government to help them obtain a competitive advantage in the food market.”

 

If you don’t feel as if your response has been answered, we invite you to submit a new question here: http://gmoanswers.com/ask-your-question.

Posted on April 11, 2018
Interesting question - that's a good example of how the term "GMO" (genetically modified organism) is too vague to be really useful. In a sense, yes, your genes are modified compared to both of your parents. And you're definitely not genetically identical to your parents (unless you're a yeast, or a starfish, or a willow tree, or some other organism that can reproduce asexually).   But in common usage, the term GMO refers to an organism containing a gene... Read More
Posted on March 9, 2018
Sun Pacific oranges are not a GM food, in fact all oranges are not a GM crop. Nearly all foods today have been genetically modified or altered in some way over thousands of years through selective breeding. But there are only 10 commercially available GM crops in the U.S: soybeans, corn (field and sweet), canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets, summer squash, papaya, potatoes and apples. Below is a table outlining what year the 10 crops became commercially available:  ... Read More
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Posted on March 8, 2018
That’s a great question because so many people ‘expect’ there to be a difference and taste is purely a subjective assessment. So the answer is – it depends. Examples when the “look” would be different: Golden Rice: his rice has been engineered to be higher in Beta-carotene, using a gene from maize/corn, to help reduce the incidence of Vitamin A deficiency in developing countries whose Vitamin A content in the diet is so low, that results in blindness,... Read More
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