We should label GMOs–Not because of dangers but because they are safe

| | July 30, 2015
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Recently the House of Representatives found itself with a surprising group of allies: scientists. The House voted to ban state requirements that food companies affix special labels to products containing genetically modified ingredients.

And yet, there is arguably still good reason to label GMO foods, just not one that many activists have proposed. Food companies oppose labeling because they think it will encourage the public’s concerns, but we should consider the possibility that the opposite is true—that labeling is valuable precisely because it can educate consumers and thereby combat unwarranted fear.

Additionally, when GMOs advance malfeasance and inefficiency, we should want to know about that, and the case for labeling is strongest with prevention of bad behavior in mind. Not every GMO product is socially useful, after all. Do Americans really need high-yield GMOs when we already waste about a third of our food? GMOs have saved Hawa‘ii’s papayas from devastating disease and may yet do the same for Florida’s oranges, but there are no major threats to corn, wheat, and soy industries that are arguably too large already.

More knowledge about GMOs would be good for the United States and the world. A label is therefore not inherently a bad idea. But ideally such a label would do more than scream, “GMO.” It would also help consumers make good decisions about genetic engineering and sensitize them to the pluses and minuses of the biotechnology moment. Because, like any technology, genetic engineering is neither panacea nor monster. Its value lies in people making the right decisions about how to use it.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: GMOs Are Safe—So Let’s Label Them

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