ConcernedMomOf5's picture
Regardless as to whether or not you believe GMOs are good or bad-- what is the harm in labeling them so that consumers can make their own decisions? It is the number one thing you mention on the first welcome page of your website..that you "respect people around the world and their right to choose"

A:Expert Answer

We absolutely do support the right of consumers to choose food that is healthy and nutritious. And although we do not sell food products directly to consumers, we support food companies’ decisions to voluntarily label food products for the presence or absence of GMOs, based on their customers’ choices.  This type of marketing claim is often used to promote one type of product over another and is unrelated to health or safety. Some companies have opted to voluntarily label food as “USDA Organic” for their consumers who opt for food that is not made with GMOs.

We do support mandatory labeling of food, including GM food, if such food presents a safety risk to a certain population—for example, those allergic to a food ingredient. But there has never been any evidence linking a food-safety or health risk to the consumption of GM foods. There are hundreds of independent studies that demonstrate this (check out independent studies at Biofortified), in addition to the determinations from scientific and regulatory authorities around the world that GM foods on the market are as safe and nutritious as their non-GM counterparts (see FDA information here). A few studies have asserted that such a risk exists, but each of these studies has been found not to be credible, essentially “debunked” by the global scientific community.

 

Examples can be found here:

 

 

As believers in GM technology, and having seen the benefits nurture farmers and society alike (check out "GMOs and the Future of Agriculture"), we believe the harm comes from a label that conveys to consumers that food made from farmers' crops grown with our seeds is somehow less safe or nutritious than or somehow different from conventional or organic food. This is simply not the case. We believe a government requirement to label a food "GM" would do just this, and a 2013 study conducted by an MIT professor supports this view [see "Policy and Inference: The Case of Product Labeling"].

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Comments

rickspalding's picture

There premise is it will increase food cost. It would be very marginal in the first place. Like they are concerned if food prices go up. The cost will go to the consumer anyways. 90 percent of the processed and prepackaged foods are already GMO. So ALL of it will go up in price accept non gmo. They won't lose any type of competitive advantage. Not surprisingly most of the population is uneducated and have no idea what is going on. They spent millions on subterfuge of GMO's when that money could easily inform these consumers of how great they are. It is twisted logic they are using just like everything else they say. Like GMO's are needed to feed the world. THat is a fallacy.

wtf...'s picture

I would love to know if Ms. Enright refuses to buy organic products because she thinks it would be a waste of money and is completely unnecessary. I hope the people/corporations promoting GM foods are eating a ton of it. Of course, I don't hope they're feeding it to their children. That would just be mean.

Why are there 64 other countries that ban or require labeling of GM(genetically modified) or GE(genetically engineered) foods, but the U.S. isn't one of them?

Chris123's picture

For true answers:
Evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops: www.gmo-news.com/2013/07/gmo-myths-and-truths/

as pdf download.

April Russell's picture

"The harm comes from a label that conveys to consumers that food made from farmers’ crops grown with our seeds is somehow less safe or nutritious or somehow different from conventional or organic food.." In Enright's quote, it seems that she has confirmed that GMO's are unsafe. If a company believes in their product, and as the NSA would respond--you have nothing to hide if you are doing nothing wrong. Basic ingredients and sources of product have been required by law for years. If the product is healthy, and GMO, let those consumers who are for GMO purchase the superfood. Give us the label so we may make a choice.

AgrSci1's picture

Food labeling laws need to be based on science not fear. Also, if we start down this path, there is no limit to the information that could be demanded to be displayed on the label. For example:

- may contains crops planted during a full-moon
- may contains crops planted on the 13th day of the month
- may contains crops harvested on the 13th day of the month
- only contains crops planted using no-till techniques
- only contains crops planted using conventional tillage
- . . . .

As for the comment concerning “non-organic foods are hazardous”, organic food is another example of a fear-based market. Organic foods have not been shown to be safer than conventionally produced food. In fact, I know people that grow organic food not because they think it is healthier but because they can make a higher profit. If there are people willing to pay extra for it, they will provide it.

Many people buy organic foods out of fear of cancer, but buying organic won’t do much reduce your risks of getting cancer. In fact, Dr. Bruce Ames, University of California/Berkeley, notes that 99.9 percent of the carcinogens we swallow are natural compounds produced naturally by our fruits and vegetables to help protect themselves as they grow. Organic produce contains these same natural pesticides. Ames says “going organic” will reduce your exposure to carcinogens by about one ten-thousandth of one percent.

As for protecting Mother Nature, in many cases, organic farming is worse for the environment. Just a couple things to think about. Organic farmers cannot use herbicides for weed control so they rely on tillage. This causes more erosion which results in more sediment in our streams which can damage aquatic environments. Contrary to the claims, yields from organic productions are much lower than with conventional production. Therefore, more land has to be farmed and taken away from wildlife to produce the same amount of crops as with conventional production. Also, since organic production does not allow the uses of inorganic nitrogen the land is often rotated into a legume crop just to build N. This is good, but removes more land from production and will again result in more environmentally sensitive land being farmed.