Viewpoint: Consumers fear GMOs because ‘Big Food’ companies bombard them with misinformation

| | December 18, 2017
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[Editor’s note: Omri Ben-Shahar is a law professor at the University of Chicago and the author of the book More Than You Wanted to Know: The Failure of Mandated Disclosure.]

[T]he present wave of food claims is no longer constrained even by the ethics of half-truth. Companies are relentlessly trumpeting their products’ purity from one ingredient that they know full well does not harm consumers or public health, to hide the simple fact their food is largely unhealthy.

This trendy villain is GMO—food produced from genetically engineered crops. Consumers fear food containing GMO ingredients, despite mountains of scientifically unchallenged evidence that there is nothing to fear. Why do people fear? Because they are bombarded by misleading claims about potential risks from GMO foods. Some of these claims come from activist groups, who cynically masquerade their politics (concerns over property rights in food production) with disingenuous claims of health and sustainability risks. But the majority of the misleading claims fed to consumers now come from Big Food.

I used to think that it’s unfair to blame food makers for flaunting the Non-GMO labels. … But I have come to realize that the Dannons, Deans, and Chipotles of the world are not just a symptom of the popular misinformation, but are now very much its cause. By trying to jazz up their otherwise mediocre and non-descript products through loud campaigns against GMO, these companies are taking a misperception that preexisted in the margins and pushing it into the mainstream.

Read full, original post: The Great “Non-GMO” Deception: How To Sell Politically Correct Chocolate Chip Cookies

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