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When Proposition 37 was presented in California, the “No” side of the argument ran a campaign using the tagline, “Stop the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme”. How exactly is mandatory labeling of GMOs deceptive? Please explain.

A:Expert Answer

Calling the proposal to label food containing GMOs deceptive is typical of the type of language used in political campaigns.  It is based on a valid issue but is over-the-top in choice of words to address the issue.  The primary issue is that labeling of food in the United States is done to protect the consumer.  Information is provided that addresses food safety and nutritional issues.  Food produced by molecular genetic modification methods has been carefully screened and tested for safety and nutritional issues and so does not pose a threat to the public.  Food companies are free to label their products as GMO-free, but to force all food to be labeled if it contains GMOs would suggest to the consumer, based on current laws and practice, that the food is not safe.  Those opposed to GMO labeling consider labeling food as if it were not safe, when it is safe, deceptive.

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