Oregonian editorial: GMO labeling push ‘stigmatizes products’, sows confusion

The Oregonian, known for its independent and mostly liberal views on policy issues, has come out with an editorial on Oregon’s proposed law to label GMOs:

It’s now Oregon’s turn on the label-it movement’s west-coast swing. But what’s the argument used by the initiative’s backers? There are many, it turns out, and none justify labeling.

You can find a hodgepodge of arguments listed in the text of the initiative and, separately, on the backers’ web site. They include environmental concerns, labeling requirements in other countries, a desire to protect organic farmers in Oregon, even consumers’ undefined “personal” reasons. All of these serve an overarching principle, which is that “Oregon consumers have the right to know whether the foods they purchase were produced with genetic engineering …”

Clever though the campaign may be, the consequences of victory would be highly deceptive, which is ironic considering that one of the initiative’s stated purposes is to “reduce and prevent consumer confusion and deception …”

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If advocates were really concerned about consumer confusion, they’d tell them to buy products that are organic or otherwise free of genetically engineered material. But the label-it movement is less concerned with preventing consumer confusion than it is in stigmatizing products of which activists don’t approve. If consumers come away believing genetically engineered stuff is unhealthy, so much the better.

Read the full, original article: Food-labeling initiative would sow confusion: Editorial

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