Geneticist Wayne Parrott: Non-GMO label promotes food safety misconceptions

no non gmo

Marketers have learned to never underestimate the power of claiming superiority due to the absence of something.  Nowhere is this trend more evident today than in the popularity of ‘-free’ labels, which have skyrocketed in the food industry.  Food singled out by its lack of given ingredients (artificial dyes, transfats, gluten, high fructose corn syrup, added sugars, preservatives, etc) are eagerly snatched up by consumers.  Most do so out of a conviction that these are healthier products.  A small number of these consumers even like to feel smug about it.  We’ve all met someone like that at one time or another.

Perhaps the most popular ‘-free’ label today is the GMO-free or non-GMO label. However, are GMO-free products truly superior, or are they marketing ploys …?

  • What makes a GMO product different? GMO refers to a process, not a product. GMO is not an ingredient.
  • But, is it safe? Yes, they are as safe as non-GMO foods. Although there is no reason to single-out GMO foods for extra regulation, the precautionary nature of the regulatory system ensures they get extensive testing, while conventional food gets almost none.
  • Is there an upside? Yes, there are several. GMO crops have been particularly efficient at increasing sustainability and decreasing the agriculture’s footprint on the environment.

Read full, original post: Beware of bejeweled watches (and GMO labels)

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