QOn what logic do you reason one should only be informed about what they consume if there is an immediate safety risk? Quotes a-kin to the following appear in multiple answers: "...if such food presents a safety risk to a certain population, for example th

On what logic do you reason one should only be informed about what they consume if there is an immediate safety risk? Quotes a-kin to the following appear in multiple answers: "...if such food presents a safety risk to a certain population, for example those allergic to a food ingredient." Why does this 'if' exist in the first place? Shouldn't the interpretation of the meaning of 'safety' be up to an intelligently informed individual? The whole purpose of any labels on food, any caloric indicators, any warning labels you find anywhere isn't for the "safety" of those already consuming it. It's so those who are interested in consuming it can make a coherent decision on whether or not they desire to purchase the product in the first place. The idea of "after-the-fact" informing of customers seems counterintuitive and like the person writing the opinion has a backwards process of thought. You don't go to a store and buy food and read the labels after you get home only to find you built your whole diet around protein and forgot any other nutrients, or that you happened to buy foods containing things you're allergic to. This is why labels exist.

AExpert Answer

I have to admit that I’m a little unsure about what you’re asking.  Ingredients and nutritional values are provided on a food label so that individuals can make informed decisions, including about safety, when purchasing a product. If one of those ingredients is a known allergen (a recognized safety hazard), that ingredient is also highlighted in a separate statement on the package.

 

Perhaps you’re making the assumption that the process of genetically engineering a seed will create a safety hazard?  This is taken into consideration when developing a biotech crop and tested for extensively prior to commercialization.  If a safety issue is identified, that crop is not brought to market.  This earlier response from Lisa Katic, a registered dietitian, addresses such a scenario: http://gmoanswers.com/ask/there-good-evidence-inserting-genes-allergenic-organisms-those-dont-normally-contain-them-will.

 

While FDA doesn’t require a label that indicates how a seed is produced - whether it was formed through selective breeding, tissue culture, mutagenesis (using radiation), or transgenesis (“GMO”) - a food label must reflect a change in the composition or nutritional value of a food or ingredient, when compared to its conventional counterpart, regardless of how the seed was made. For example, if Golden Rice was to be commercialized and sold in the U.S., it would be labeled as being engineered to contain higher levels of beta carotene.

 

Lastly, the logic that dictates what must be included on a food label is federal law. Specifically, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act; the Fair Packaging and Label Act; the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act; and related FDA guidance. If this is an area you are interested in learning more about, please take a look at FDA’s Food Labeling Guide.

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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Posted on February 28, 2018
On average, GMOs take 13 years and $130 million of research and development before coming to market. We’ve created the below infographic that outlines this process in more detail: The following infographic includes excerpts from more than 600+ safety assessment studies which assess the health and safety of GMOs. You can also read more about the regulatory review and approval process in Wendelyn Jones, Global Regulatory Affairs, DowDuPont Crop Protection’s response to a... Read More
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