Why We Shouldn't Label GMO Foods

The crops are completely safe to eat. oticki/Shutterstock
Josh Davis 29 Jun 2016, 12:21

The point is that all food, to some degree or another, has been genetically modified. The wild ancestors of grains such as barley, for example, produce extremely small yield, and so have been selectively bred over thousands of years to produce larger amounts of grain. More recently with the discovery of DNA and techniques to manipulate this, scientists have been tweaking and altering the genetic code of crops for decades, making them shorter or more resistant to drought. Now, more advanced techniques enable the more precise editing of genes to directly target specific genes.

In fact, it is estimated that some 70 percent of processed food in America contains GMO ingredients. Once again, it is important to reiterate that there is nothing, zero, nada to suggest that genetically modified crops are harmful to human health or the environment. The labelling of GMOs, therefore, only acts to reinforce this erroneous notion of “Frankenfoods” that is perpetuated by certain groups. This in turn harms an industry that has done an incredible amount of good.

It is true that the majority of Americans believe that food containing GMO should be labeled. In fact, one survey found that “a large majority (82 %) support mandatory labels on GMOs,” yet the same study also found something more curious. It revealed that when asked, there was almost the same support from the public (80 percent) that there should be mandatory labels on food containing DNA. This suggests that the general public may not know enough to be making these decision in a fully informed manner.

GMO maize has been developed that is short in height, meaning it is less likely to collapse under the weight of the corn. igor.stevanovic/Shutterstock

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