Would GMO labeling cause $500 increase in grocery bill?

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A study by Cornell University Professor William Lesser found that if GMO labeling is required in New York, a family of four would pay $500 more each year. Lesser uses consumer surveys to project the demand for products that contain, and are labeled as containing, GMO ingredients. Demand for non-GMO products will grow in part because the labeling is perceived as a warning. To remain competitive, companies then would need to create new products without GMO ingredients. Non-GMO ingredients, especially corn and soybean, tend to be more expensive.

Companies would, therefore, spend more money on ingredients and on producing, warehousing and stocking these new non-GMO products in supermarkets. The study assumes that all cost increases will be passed along to food consumers, as opposed to being absorbed by the companies or supermarkets.

Labeling advocates say Lesser’s study makes unrealistic assumptions.

There are many factors other than ingredient costs that affect retail price, according to a study commissioned by Just Label It!

Consumers Union, which supports mandatory labeling, estimates the median cost of designing and labeling a product as containing GMOs would be just $2.30 per person per year. But these costs may not necessarily be passed on to consumers, they say.

Read full, original article: Would GMO labeling requirement cost $500 more in groceries per family a year?

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