Why should we label GMOs?

+95 votes
asked May 22, 2015 in Culture & Society by AngelinaMarg (230 points)
I’m aware that the GMO issue is heavily debated, and the people on both sides feel very strongly about it. Many people believe that they are not harmful to humans. Others believe that they will be the downfall of our existence. However you look at it, I don’t see why they shouldn’t be labeled. American consumers should be able to decide for themselves what is right for them.

2 Answers

+22 votes
answered Jul 28, 2015 by DessieFinckh (580 points)

Here are 7 reasons to label GMOs:

1. Widespread Public Support

Official news organizations such as MSNBC, the Washington Post, and NPR have conducted several surveys, and consistently found that over 90% of consumers would prefer to have GM ingredients labeled. According to ABC News, “Such near-unanimity in public opinion is rare.”

2. Right to Know, Need to Know

Long-term research has yet to be conducted on GMOs, and as such, they have not yet been proven harmless. A growing number of peer-reviewed analyses have linked GMOs to allergies, organ toxicity, and other health issues. However, in contrast to the rigorous safety evaluations mandatory for the sanction of new drugs, the Food and Drug Administration does not necessitate evaluations for genetically engineered foods. According to internal memos, the FDA’s own scientists articulated safety concerns that were overruled by FDA administrators.

3. No Cost to Consumers or Food Manufacturers

Companies often alter their labeling, and many other countries have already initiated GMO labeling without any increase in food prices.

4. Setting the Standard for Mandatory GMO labeling

The states are moving toward uniform federal regulations for GMO labeling. We cannot afford to wait for the federal government to take action. With 3 states previously having approved GMO labeling laws and more than half of the country deliberating, Massachusetts has the chance to send a message to Washington D.C.

5. Supporting the Free Market and Food Democracy

The free market is meant to accurately inform consumers about the products available, so that they can make educated choices. GMO labeling gives consumers information about the foods they purchase and allows them to make more informed decisions.

6. Alleviate Environmental Risks

The use of toxic pesticides has increased as super weeds and pests have become resistant to GMO-affiliated herbicides. GMO crops can easily pollute non-GMO crops, interfering with the consumer’s freedom to purchase non-GMO foods and threatening organic farming.

7. Support Local Agriculture

GMO labeling will enhance the value of local farms and farmers and encourage people to purchase locally grown produce, because it allows consumers to make their own educated decisions and will increase demand for non-GMO products.

+9 votes
answered Aug 27, 2015 by NguHongAn (330 points)

Why should we label GMOs? Here are some legal arguments in support of mandatory GMO Labeling:

  • Consumers should be informed about what is in their food, especially when the ingredients may have negative effects on health and the environment (Raab and Grobe, 2003; NRC 2010).
  • Mandatory labeling allows consumers to avoid the food products they do not wish to consume.
  • Some Americans may prefer to avoid certain food products for religious or ethical reasons.
  • Voluntary labeling has proven to be insufficient in informing consumers about the existence of GM ingredients.
  • According to several surveys and polls, a large majority of Americans support mandatory labeling.
  • At least 64 countries have already started mandatory labeling (CAST, 2014).
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