Oregon GMO labeling measure ‘misleads rather than enlightens’

Labels can inform or mislead. Our marketplace is literally drowning in labels, most of which have little meaning except to promote the sales of some products over others. What consumers want is labels that are reliable and meaningful, not more labels that do not accurately inform about health and environment.

We have a labeling law. The Food and Drug Administration requires foods that are “materially” different in nutrition or safety, positive or negative, to be labeled as such — today. The focus is on the product, not the method. This “product not process” approach has been agreed to by numerous high-level scientific and government agencies around the world, including our own National Academy of Science, the Ecological Society of America, and the American Medical Association. A measure to label all products of the GMO process as though they were universally harmful goes against this internationally agreed scientific principle.

We have choice in the market now in the form of widely available organic food, which must be grown without GMO varieties. Voluntary GMO-free labeling is increasing daily, as well. The marketplace is offering a choice for those who are wary. It does not seem that a government program is needed for those with concerns over GMOs.

I fully support efforts to educate Oregonians about their food and its safety and health and have been active doing that in teaching and outreach for many years. However, this punitive labeling measure would further confuse, reduce choice and add to food costs. It will mislead rather than enlighten.

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Read the full, original article: Punitive GMO labels contrary to science and accepted standards

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