Labeling GMOs benefits no one except the organic foods industry

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153697219A cogent commentary in the Teton Valley News notes that advocates of labeling laws are trying to solve a problem that does not exist. Americans have been eating GMO foods for over twenty years with no ill effects, points out the author, Frank Priestley, President of the Idaho Farm Bureau. And even if some products are produced from GMO crops, in many cases there will be no trace of any genes in the finished product: the writer uses sugar produced from GMO sugar beets as an example. He also points out that if one state requires labeling, as happened in Vermont (and this law is currently being challenged by the food industry), our nation s producers and marketers will face a patchwork of confusing and disparate laws that will only serve to increase food prices for consumers while benefiting no one s health.

Kudos to Mr. Priestley for his well-written and commonsense approach to the issue, says ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava. Instead of such counterproductive measures, we here at ACSH would like to suggest, instead, that marketers of foods without GMO ingredients voluntarily label them as such. That would solve the problem for those consumers who, for whatever reason, want to avoid them, and would not burden the remaining 99 percent of us who know that there s nothing to fear from GMOs.

And in other recent news, ACSH has covered the results of a meta-analysis showing the benefits of GM crops for reducing pesticide use and helping farmers increase their profits especially in developing countries. You can read about it here.

Also, for sound science-based information about agricultural biotechnology, see ACSH s recent publication, Food and You: A Guide to Modern Agricultural Biotechnology.