The conditions that will befall our food system require innovative solutions like those offered by biotechnology to ensure food security for the billions of Earth’s inhabitants.
That’s why it’s troubling to see the growing trend of food companies using meaningless terms and confusing assertions in their labeling efforts (many of which fear monger against biotechnology). While they may be generating greater profit, they are exploiting consumer unease, thereby making it more difficult to foster public support for badly-needed investments in an innovative food system that will help our grandchildren live in a better world.
A recent study found that approximately 45 percent of U.S. citizens thought that GMOs should be prohibited no matter the benefits associated with the technique. This is concerning because the vast majority of scientists say that GMOs are safe. However, large food companies are taking advantage of consumers’ fears and adding meaningless absence claims to their front-of-package labeling. In fact, they are slapping GMO-free labels on products that never contained GMOs to begin with: milk, pink rock salt, etc.
These meaningless labels come at the expense of farmers who rely on biotechnology to make a living and produce the food you eat in a more environmentally sustainable manner.
Editor’s note: Brandon McFadden is a University of Florida professor who focuses on consumer behavior and food production
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