Should Genetically Modified Foods Have Labels?

The state of California is leaving it up to its voters to decide if packaged foods containing genetically engineered ingredients, should come with a label.

Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell


What’s the Latest Development?

Reportedly 80 percent of packaged foods in the United States contain genetically engineered ingredients; however, they are not easy to identify since food producers are not legally required to add the information to their product labels. In November, Proposition 37which is a California law allowing consumers the right to know what is in products on the marketwill go to the ballots for voters to decide. If the law is passed, then packaged foods in Californiawith the exception of alcohol, meat, poultry and dairywill have to be accompanied by special labels. Industry analysts believe this could put farmers, food companies and grocers at a competitive disadvantage, and they would “have to spend cash to ensure that they keep entirely separate facilities for GE and non-GE crops.” Although according to the Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA), the bigger issue is the "proximity of GE crops to specialty crops in the state." This law has not been duplicated in any other states. Based on reports, both Vermont and Connecticut were set to pass a similar law, but they each “pulled back because of fear of legal reprisal and legal bills from the biotech industry.”

What’s the Big Idea? 

Industry experts believe California’s Proposition 37 that could require food producers to tack GE labels onto their products is extreme and insensible. They believe it will hurt family farmers, food companies and grocers in California. "Other countries have GE labeling requirements, but only require labeling for products that contain small percentages of GE ingredients ( .9% to 5%)." Dairy, meat, poultry and alcohol will be exempt from donning special labeling.

Related Articles
Playlists
Keep reading Show less

Five foods that increase your psychological well-being

These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.

Mind & Brain

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.

Keep reading Show less

For the 99%, the lines are getting blurry

Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.

What is the middle class now, anyway? (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.

Keep reading Show less