Viewpoint: The government can’t decide what a GMO is—so how is it going to require mandatory labeling?

GMO labeling bill defeated in Canadian parliament wrbm large
Image credit: iStockphoto-chombosan

If the food industry and government cannot come to a consensus about what is a GMO and what isn’t, labeling should certainly not be federally mandated.

The primary issue with the new labeling law is that it paints all genetically modified food as the same, when there are many differences and nuances. According to the USDA, GMO refers to crops that are modified with naturally occurring traits either through genetic engineering or more traditional methods. Genetic engineering is defined as rearranging, eliminating, or introducing genes in order to get a desired trait. Therefore, according to the USDA, any crop that is genetically engineered, falls under the label of GMO.

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Mandatory labeling of GMOs makes no sense both from the technical side and from the practical. The definition of GMOs is misunderstood even by the organization who made them. This lack of understanding translates into a sloppy policy that does little to inform consumers. Examining the regulation of GMOs highlights a truth, which is the government cannot regulate what it does not understand.

Read full, original post: Government Wants to Regulate ‘GMO’, but They Don’t Know What it Means

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