Oregon nutritionist on why mandatory GMO label measure is misguided

As a nutritionist and dietitian for 30 years, I understand how important it is for food labels to be accurate and reliable so that consumers can make informed decisions about the foods they buy. That’s why I strongly oppose Ballot Measure 92.

Under Measure 92, many common food products would have to be specially labeled as “genetically engineered” even if they are not and even if they do not contain any GMO (genetically modified organism) content. Yet thousands of other products would be exempt from these labels even though they are produced with GMOs.

In fact, under Measure 92’s arbitrary system of labeling requirements and exemptions, approximately two-thirds of foods that Oregonians purchase on a daily basis would be exempt from labeling — even when they contain or are made with GMO ingredients.

The bottom line is that Measure 92 would not give consumers a reliable way to know which foods contain GMOs and which do not. Further, this measure conflicts with existing nationwide labeling standards that already do provide consumers with this information. Our current national labeling standards for “organic” and certified “non-GMO” foods provide consistent and reliable information for consumers who wish to choose foods made without GMOs. There are tens of thousands of such products available, and both of these labels are based on consistent, national standards that do not offer the exemptions and loopholes that are found in Measure 92.

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Food producers and farmers both within Oregon and throughout the country would have to segregate, specially handle and repackage or re-label their products just for our state — unless they are remade with higher priced, specially handled ingredients. This would introduce costs throughout the food supply chain that would make it more costly to sell food products in Oregon, ultimately driving up food costs for Oregon families, and especially hurting low-income and fixed-income families.

Read full original article: Two Views on Measure 92: GMO label measure lacks reliability

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