Worse Than GMOs
I think we’ve all seen and heard the GMO food arguments and counterarguments. It seems like a pretty complex issue, but in reality, it’s dead simple. (If you need a primer on what a GMO is, check out THIS post.)
First there are two distinct positions that keep getting mixed together. Advocating for the elimination of GMOs, and advocating for labeling of products that are made using GMOs.
Advocating to eliminate GMOs:
This is the position that’s making it look complicated. From emotional appeals to conflicting scientific reports, the argument for eliminating GMOs is complicated and eventually leads to a point for point quagmire.
Yes, GMO’s impact on our health and environment is real, but it’s not the root of the issue. Even if you’re convinced that we need to stop growing all genetically modified food, there’s still a huge piece missing. Without labeling, the consumer is powerless to impact the demand for these foods.
There’s precedent for this one. If you buy orange juice that was made using concentrate, the label has to reflect that. It’s a production detail that’s important to consumers, so it’s a required label…on the front of the package no less. If a food uses artificial flavorings, then it too must be stated on the front of the package. The idea is simple, food products must list significant “material” differences, and that’s the exact wording that the FDA uses.
In a recent Associated Press poll, 66% of Americans wanted GMOs to be labeled, while only 7% were opposed. The general public thinks GMOs are significant and material. So what’s happening? Simply put, consumers are asking for information and large food corporations are saying that we can’t be trusted with that information. This lack of transparency breaks down the basic mechanism that makes capitalism and democracy work.
So, back to the point of view that no one could disagree with:
Non-GMO labeling is about allowing consumers to make their own decision. No good ever comes from hiding information from consumers.
Seriously, that’s it. Americans want labels and it’s being blocked.
Now, go to http://www.justlabelit.org, sign up for their newsletter, and check out the “Take Action” section. Just Label It is getting things done, but they need everyone’s help!
Oh, and applaud Whole Foods Market for requiring labeling in 2018. It’s a bold move!