Just Label GMO Foods

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by Scott Faber Originally published on EWG’s AGMag Blog

Americans want to know what’s in their food and how it’s grown.

As the House of Representatives considers whether to block state GMO labeling laws, legislators may lose sight of this simple truth in a cascade of misleading and downright false claims made by some food and biotechnology companies. Food labeling opponents will try to twist a debate about transparency into a debate about a new — and still largely unproven– technology.  We can’t let them.

We want to know more about food – what’s in it, who made it, where it was made, how it was made. We want food with a story. No wonder 90 percent of consumers tell pollsters they want to know whether their food was made with GMOs. This should be simple. Give us the facts and trust us to make good decisions. That’s how markets are supposed to work.

Not so fast. Some food and biotechnology companies don’t trust us to make these choices for ourselves. Of course, it’s bad for business to tell us consumers that we‘re not smart enough to decide. So instead, they’re rolling out the same tired arguments used to fight any and all food regulations – that labeling will increase food prices and prevent American farmers from “feeding the world.”

Put aside the canard that America’s farmers feed the world (fact: we only produce eight percent of global food calories). Do we need GMOs to feed the world?

Food companies change their labels all the time to make new claims. Did the price of Cheerios increase when General Mills added a GMO-free disclosure to the side of the box? No. Lessons learned from labeling around the globe show us that consumers will not view a GMO disclosure as a warning sign.  Interestingly, the same food giants made the same bogus arguments when they fought mandatory nutrition labeling more than two decades ago.  No wonder the Washington Post’sfact checker gave them “three Pinocchios.”

Read the full blog here.

Scott Faber is the Executive Director of Just Label It and Vice President for Governmental Affairs for EWG.

 




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