Skeptoid podcast: GMO food labels fuel public fear of biotechnology

GettyImages
Anti-GMO activist Vani Hari, the "food babe"

Should foods be labeled based upon their content (like ingredient lists do now), or upon the process by which they were made (as the GMO labeling proponents propose)? One describes what you’re buying, but the other describes the idea behind it. It is purely an ideological question.

When consumers see a label, their behavior is altered. But how? …. Thankfully we have solid science characterizing these effects ….Labeling …. reduces consumer purchases of certain products, which alters the fortunes of certain manufacturers, which changes their buying habits, which changes the economic landscape of the farms, and thus changes what crops they can plant.

Related article:  Using GM crops to safely feed more people is a ‘no brainer,’ plant scientist says

 

In 2014, Dr. Juanjuan Zhang, an economist and marketing strategist at MIT, conducted a study to determine how just the idea of labeling affects public perception …. merely the suggestion that mandatory labeling is being considered caused people to rate the product as 37% more unsafe …. There was no information about what such labeling would look like or say; it was nothing more than the idea of labeling. That’s all it takes to persuade people that a product is dangerous.

Original podcast episode: The Effects of Mandated GMO Labeling

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend