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Opinion: ‘Fear-based’ food labels—like Dannon’s GMO-free claims—undermine confidence in safe food system

| | July 7, 2017

[Editor’s note: Kent Messer is a professor at the University of Delaware.]

As a behavioral economist, I analyze what motivates people and how organizations, governments, and businesses influence individual choice. And when it comes to how consumers make their choices regarding food, it’s clear that fear is a big factor.

One area where the use of these types of fear-based, “free from” labels is rapidly coming to a head is in the labeling of GMOs in the dairy industry. Last year, yogurt-maker Dannon trumpeted its plans to transition to only GMO-free feed for the cows producing its product, saying that they want to provide consumers with a more “natural” choice, even though the science clearly shows that milk from cows fed GMO-feed is no different than those fed the GMO-free variety.

Dannon even acknowledges this reality and is using this fact, outside the public eye, in an attempt to get a lawsuit against them dismissed.

While the safety of GMOs is clear – with the vast majority of scientists confirming that genetically modified foods are safe – confusion and mistrust continues to reign among consumers. That’s thanks in large part to the current “wild west” of front-of-package food labeling that has allowed for a tidal wave of misinformation and scare tactics regarding the technology.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Fear-based food labels do far more harm than good

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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