Most US consumers say they want genetically modified food labelled (it isn’t) and believe that they don’t eat GM food (they do). November popular ballots to require GM food to be labelled were narrowly defeated in California (in 2012) and Washington state (2013).
But the furore created by these ballots, and the huge sums spent by chemical and large food businesses to defeat them ($46m in California) have ignited the first popular debate in the US about genetic modification since the technology was introduced in the late 1990s. Two states have passed, and about 20 others are considering, GM labelling laws.
American consumers are beginning to discover, as Europeans did back in the late 1990s, that most of their processed food contains GM ingredients. This coincides with US farmers starting to fall out of love with the technology. In the UK, we are constantly told that GM must work “because American farmers carry on growing GM crops”. This has been a constant refrain of our strongly pro-GM secretary of state for environment, Owen Paterson. In fact, US farmers have faced problems with GM crops for nearly 15 years. Now the problems are so great that growers there are starting to desert GM.
Read the full, original article: America’s GM backlash should give Britain food for thought