GMO labeling expensive?


A recent study showing how mandatory labels for foods made with genetically modified ingredients would cost families in one state hundreds of additional dollars each year at the grocery store is yet another reason why Congress shouldn’t delay in passing the bipartisan Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 4432), according to farmers and ranchers.


In making it clear that the Food and Drug Administration is the nation’s foremost authority on the use and labeling of foods containing GM ingredients, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act will provide a federal solution to protect consumers from a confusing patchwork of 50-state GMO labeling policies, and the misinformation and high food costs that would come with them, explained Andrew Walmsley, American Farm Bureau Federation biotech specialist.


Cornell University researchers earlier this month revealed the results of a study showing that New York’s proposed mandatory GMO labeling bill would cost families an average of $500 per year at the checkout aisle. The findings come on the heels of similar studies in Washington state and California that showed mandatory GMO labels would result in comparable increases in the cost of food.


Proponents of GMO labeling say they’re concerned about the safety of foods made with GM ingredients, despite the fact that GMOs have been used in our food supply for more than 20 years and no study has ever shown them to be unsafe or even different from foods without GMOs.


“There is no uncertainty about the safety of GMO food ingredients,” Walmsley emphasized. “And as the Cornell study and others have shown, nor is there any doubt mandatory state-by-state labeling requirements will hit consumers’ wallets hard, with those who can least afford it hurting the most.”


The Cornell study found that a mandatory labeling law like the one proposed would likely cost the state of New York millions of dollars in revenue to implement the new requirements and to account for a loss in farm income.


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