GMO labels likely to boost consumer fear of biotech crops—and food prices

Pompeo bill would preempt state GMO labeling strict xxl
Credit: Mercola

Colin Carter and Aleks Schaefer just published an interesting new study in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, which powerfully shows that mandatory GMO labels are already having significant market impacts.

They found a creative way to explore this issue by focusing on the market for sugar …. This summary data they provide on prices of sugar from cane and beet sources suggests “something” change around the same time as the Vermont mandatory GMO labeling law.

Indeed, the data suggest consumers will still want to avoid products with GMO labels, which provides incentives for food retailers and manufacturers to find ways to avoid GMO ingredients.

Related article:  Europe's decision to reject gene edited crops signals it is losing its commitment to sustainable agriculture

Here are the main findings.

“Our analysis supports the explanation that the divergence in U.S. prices for refined cane and beet sugar was the result of Vermont’s mandatory GE labeling. The divergence occurred on or around July 2016— the month the Vermont Act took effect.

Counterfactual price estimates generated by a regression model suggest that GE food labeling initiatives generated a small premium for cane sugar and a price discount for beet sugar of approximately 13% relative to what prices would have been in the absence of such legislation.”

These changes in raw ingredient prices will ultimately have impacts on retail food prices. All this suggests that mandatory labels aren’t a free lunch.

Read full, original article: MARKET IMPACTS OF GMO LABELING

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