Would mandatory GMO labeling help consumers understand what they’re eating?

The House of Representatives recently passed a bill that prevents states from requiring GMO labels, despite the fact that nine in 10 Americans say they want to know if they’re eating genetically engineered food. But is a GMO label, on its own, enough for consumers to really understand what they’re buying?

Around 60 percent of Americans believe that GMO food is unsafe to eat. But most scientists disagree. “Every major scientific organization around the world that has looked at the issue has concluded that the crops currently on the market are safe to eat,” says Pamela Ronald, director of the Laboratory for Crop Genetics Innovation at the University of California, Davis.

Still, GMO opponents argue that there haven’t been enough independent, long-term studies and that regulation is lax. With labeling, it would be possible to track any potential effects of genetically engineered crops — or their associated pesticides and herbicides—over time.

But the morass of GMO science is confusing enough that the label alone can’t answer every question. A simple “GMO” marking won’t help consumers weigh all of the differences between genetically modified corn and conventional corn — like which herbicides might have been used.

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Ronald has a different suggestion. “What I have advocated, and what I think many people are advocating, is have some kind of bar code system, where you could see what was sprayed on the crops, where it was grown, how it was developed, and you would do it for everything.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The Case For Transparent Food Labeling—And Not Just For Genetically Modified Food

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