Non-GMO labels promote superstition; Scan code labels would provide context

| | May 29, 2015
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A couple of weeks ago I was deeply disappointed to read that the USDA might get involved in an aspect of “non-GMO food labeling.”  The marketing of non-GMO food is an opportunistic, fear-based phenomenon – not something worthy of aid from a science-oriented agency like USDA.  Also, if the goal is to allow consumers “know more about their food,” then why not transmit knowledge with context and perspective that would diminish, rather than promote, superstition? Printing was state-of-the-art in 1435.  We can do better in the 21st century!

In an era of scan codes and smart devices, a curious consumer could have all the resources they need in an interactive, multi-media form. They could ask: “What are the ingredients in this food?”  “Where has it been sourced and why?” “What is known about the safety of the ingredients and the food as a whole?” “What does the nutrition labeling information on the back mean?” “What kind of farms and farmers were involved in the production of this food?” “Why do farmers choose to use certain agricultural technologies?” Consumers could “know” a great deal.

The USDA could be an independent “third party” that could vet the information offered via 21st century methods. To do so would require more resources for the USDA because their workers are already engaged in other important work. As consumers, we would be better served by a modest increase in USDA funding via our taxes than by spending billions on “GMO-free” food marketed based on superstition.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Why Would The USDA Get Involved In A 15th Century Method Of Labeling?

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