Should genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have mandatory labeling requirements?
Genetically modified food is customizing the genetic code of an organism, so the plant or animal has certain characteristics that help with food cost production, effectiveness, and satisfaction overall for the consumer. Genetically modified food has been around since the 1980’s yet labeling has never been a mandatory issue for Congress or the consumers. Overall technology and ethics behind genetically modified food is negative, while studies show the advantage of having genetically modified food can benefit farmer, consumers, and even third world countries.
Currently Vermont is the only state to have passed legislation that requires mandatory labeling for genetically modified foods. Campbell’s, the Goldfish creator, will be the first major food company to disclose it’s genetically modified ingredients on all its products. ‘Organic’ products legally by law can not have any genetically modified ingredients. On the other hand big cooperations like Monsanto have put over 5 millions dollars in advertising to lobby against mandatory labeling.
Labeling genetically modified food will cost not only the consumer, but the food industry. An average of $2.30 per person per year to add labeling on food products. Others believe that food prices will sky rocket and cost families up to $1,500 per year because of labeling and poor families will be hurt the most.
Ninety percent of Americans believe that genetically modified food should be labeled. Consumers want to know what in their food regardless if it is good or bad. The right to know and to make the decision to buy genetically modified food or not is up to the consumer, but as of now Vermont is the only state with labeling laws emplaned.
The total science behind genetically modified food has not yet been confirmed. Side effects from long term use are still unknown. Many studies have shown that genetically modified organisms do not act any different from their non-altered counterparts. Labeling can be an unnecessary scare tactic to boost the organic food industry while diminish the already functioning food industry. Farmers would have to recapitalize on the basis of how the consumer interprets the new labeling. With a negative response farmers may have to completely re-establish their way of farming because of uneducated assumptions.
Cost for labeling will end up eventually either on consumer or cooperations dollar. While big cooperations lobby against legislation, consumers are stuck in a limbo of wanting the right to know, but bills are not passed because science have not proven genetically modified foods to be harmful.