Oregon is now joining the ranks of states trying to pass GMO labeling laws. Advocates for the labeling law collected about 118,000 signatures, guaranteeing that this law will be considered come election time in November.
The specific initiative, backed by Oregon Right to Know, would require labels on raw or packaged foods containing genetically engineered ingredients by the year 2016. The law excludes food served in restaurants and animal feed. Those arguing in favor of this bill have nothing new to say though, focusing once again on studies discussing concerns about possible adverse effects of GMOs on health or on agriculture or on the environment.
Those who see through the phony veneer of consumers right to know propaganda behind these campaigns including ACSH find the greedy hands of Big Organic pulling the strings of anti-GMO hysteria and mythology. We and like-minded, science-based groups have argued that these labeling laws would not only be costly but also very misleading. The bottom line is that the safety of GMOs has been backed by numerous scientific studies, as well as by the 18-year history of progressively more acreage being devoted to GM crops,without a single episode or instance of harm to anyone from the technology itself. This scientific argument has helped to defeat bills in Washington and California. Connecticut, Vermont and Maine have all passed GMO label laws, though these laws have yet to go into effect.
As ACSH s Ariel Savransky has said before, It s the same old story again. These labeling laws are not based on fact, but rather on unjustified fears that GMO foods are dangerous to health. The science does not support this claim. If a consumer really wants to make sure their food does not contain GMOs, there are other ways of doing that. For example, consumers can choose to buy organic foods, shop at stores that are committed to selling only non-GMO foods or buy foods produced by companies who choose to label their foods as GMO free. We here at ACSH are fine with labelling, as long as those companies who are GMO-free do the labelling.