GMO Labeling

There is a new bill establishing national requirements for labeling foods with GMO content that is expected to be signed by President Obama. A Denver Post editorial supports the bill, but the anti-GMO advocates aren’t happy. Perhaps all that would have made them happy would have been a complete ban on GMOs. That ban would have taken almost all of the corn, soybean, canola, and sugar beet products off the market. Those ardently opposed to GMOs would probably respond that reducing the amount of available food is preferable to allowing what they call “Franken foods” to be grown and sold. I assure you I would eagerly eat Franken foods if the choice was not eating.

The new law would allow companies to label their GMO products with an actual label or a QR code. The small QR codes that smart phones can read will tell consumers the GMO content of the food. There is a realistic alternative for small companies who can still be able to comply by providing a web address or phone number.

Many food producers and processors continue to resent the fact that labeling is going to be mandated. They point out that the overwhelming scientific consensus is that GMO foods are safe, which means there is no scientific basis for the need of labels. However, they will probably be mollified by the knowledge that a federal law, regardless of whether it provides any actual improvement to food safety, will stop individual states from passing laws such as the one approved by Vermont voters.

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