Big Food Recycles Bogus Claim to Block GMO Labeling

For Immediate Release
December 7, 2015

Big Food Recycles Bogus Claim to Block GMO Labeling

WASHINGTON – Clinging to a now-debunked argument that mandatory GMO labeling will lead to surging food prices, big food and beverage corporations called on Congress to slip language into the must-pass Omnibus spending bill that would block states from enacting their own labeling laws.

The Coalition for Safe and Affordable Foods – the main front group for the food, pesticide and biotech industries opposed to mandatory GMO labeling – cited a report that claimed that food prices for a family in New York would surge by roughly $500 a year if labeling of genetically engineered foods were required by state or federal law.

However, the report referenced by the Big Food front group recently received three out of four “Pinocchios” by the Washington Post’s Fact Checker over its wildly unsubstantiated assumptions. The Post wrote:

It is an exaggeration to use the $500-per-family figure from the New York labeling bill in the national GMO debate. Those who oppose mandatory labeling are making the assumption that companies will switch out all GMO ingredients, produce completely new products, and then pass on all the costs of stocking, warehousing and producing those products to consumers.

The Post defines three Pinocchios as a claim that makes “significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.” “This gets into the realm of ‘mostly false’,” the Post goes on to say. “But it could include statements which are technically correct (such as based on official government data) but are so taken out of context as to be very misleading.”

This latest move by the food and agribusiness industry comes on the heels of a new nationwide survey showing that nearly 90 percent of all Americans from every region and background support mandatory labeling of foods produced with GMOs.

“Clinging to a widely discredited study is just one more sign Big Food and its lobbyists will do almost anything to block the rights of states to give consumers what they overwhelmingly want,” said Katrina Staves, campaign manager for Just Label It.


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