Should GMO food be labeled?

Should consumers know what’s in the food they eat? So far, the United States does not require food containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) to be labeled. That could change fast.

The New York Times reports:

The Senate will grapple this week with perhaps the most contentious issue in the food industry: whether the government should require mandatory labeling on foods containing genetically engineered ingredients.

I support the idea of labeling GMO food. This is neither anti-GMO nor is it pro-GMO. It is just a sound public policy implementation of established economic theory.

Information failure is another, significant, market failure and can occur in two basic situations. Firstly, information failure exists when some, or all, of the participants in an economic exchange do not have perfect knowledge. Secondly, information failure exists when one participant in an economic exchange knows more than the other, a situation referred to as the problem of asymmetric, or unbalanced, information.

If you want consumers to buy GMO food, then you will be in favor of GMO labeling. Both GMO producers and ordinary consumers will be benefit from labeling.


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