Grocery trade groups and crop growing farmers say these detailed labels will only scare people and raise the price of food. Consumers, however, are saying that everyone has the right to know whether they are eating something whose DNA was laboratory altered.
Several businesses have been sharing the spotlight recently, accused of taking a stand against being required to report GMO specifics. Monsanto and Starbucks have gone on the defensive, claiming that having to report the presence of GMOs in food is a violation of free speech. Other anti-GMO activists claim that they are simply trying to take charge of the food they eat and make informed decisions.
The other side of the argument says that there are other ways to find out what GMOs are present in foods. They believe the push to change food labeling is about controlling people’s choices and removing certain items from the marketplace by killing certain industries, in this case, the biotech industry.
While a great deal of testing has been done on animals, which has provided great insight, there have not been a sufficient amount of tests done on humans to help dispel the dangers of consuming food with GMOs. Testing has been done in the European Union, with detailed and stringent policies regarding GMOs that follow. In the U.S., however, there is no federal legislation that is specific to GMOs.
Both sides do agree that the dangers of genetically modified foods have yet to be proven, but if responsible food choices are to be made, it is important to know as much as possible about the food we eat, including if an altered gene is a part of the food’s components. The days of unquestioningly eating everything in front of us are quickly ending, culminating in a push toward knowledge and the justification for more detailed food labels.
Though some may see these demands as outrageous, others believe the addition of these ingredients is a complete necessity. Both sides must understand that disclosure will come at a price to large and small food companies, farmers, and most importantly, will be passed on to you, the consumer. For more information on the GMO debate, check out this series of articles detailing the ongoing developments.
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