“The hue and cry over GMO ingredients in our food supply is probably giving the herbicide pushers sour stomachs and sleepless nights. What if organic food activists actually succeed in drumming up enough resistance to genetically modified food to disrupt the market? Would there be a radical exodus from the processed food aisles when all those labels “out” the offending products?
Currently, 64 countries around the world require labeling of genetically engineered foods. Unlike most other developed countries – such as 15 nations in the European Union, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia and even China – the U.S. has no laws requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods. Why is the U.S. so negligent in notifying?
Are There Risks in Labeling?
However, what would be the unintended consequences for the local, sustainable farms and small artisan producers of federal mandates to label? I recently talked to a small food producer who said the cost of labeling his products was a major hindrance to introducing new items into his food line. Each label press run, with setup charges and bulk purchase requirements was a cool ten grand. Ouch.
Will the high cost of mandated labeling end up benefiting Big Agribusiness and putting the little guy under?
We Need to Have an Honest Debate
The upcoming Joe vs. Joel Debate on the question of whether or not the federal government should mandate labeling will explore these questions and more. Those of us who advocate for change and transparency must consider, in total, the ramifications of whatever actions are taken to curb the spread of Franken-foods and the increased use of toxic herbicides they promote.
Consider this. When the federal government banned DDT, the manufacturers started selling it to farmers in other countries, and then food imports from those countries allowed the dangerous chemical to flow back into the U.S. food supply!
However, GMOs are now present in 75 to 80 percent of conventional processed food in the U.S., according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association. So doesn’t this mean the consumers need to be forewarned about possible toxins behind those pretty labels on the colorful boxes?…”
URL to watch the debate online. (you need to buy tickets first – supporting Farm to Consumer Legal Defense)