My white paper topic is focusing on the need for required labeling of GMO products. This society source delves into the affects that GMO labeling would have on various stakeholders. There is also much information in this article that includes the stakeholders’ perspectives on possible labeling of GMO products.
This article in the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology gives information on consumers’ opinion on GMO labeling. In most countries, upwards of 80% of consumers report the desire to have GMO products with mandatory labeling in order to make an informed decision about the food purchases. While consumers support medical and industrial biotechnologies, there is a reported strong opposition to agricultural biotechnologies due to the lack of information and knowledge for the consumers. Whether or not there are risks that will be found associated with GMO products, consumers insist that they have the right to know and make informed decisions
From the producer perspective, GMO labeling would increase complications, costs and time to market for their products. They argue that GM crops are beneficial to both consumers and industry, one of the main reasons being that they are significantly less expensive than the non-GM foods. Producers claim that labeling would incur an additional cost of up to 30%. These costs would come from extensive genetic testing, and upholding with particular standards of preservation for the labeling to be effective. Segregating GM and non-GM foods would complicate the production system.
From a regulatory authority perspective, the costs associated with the implementation and enforcement of labeling are being weighed against the benefits. This process would be difficult to implement and require much testing and traceability in the agricultural industry which could be difficult to enforce.
This source will be very helpful in forming my opinion. I tend to side with the consumers from the information presented in this article, not only because I am a consumer myself, but I believe that regardless of the risks that have been proven, a consumer has the right to know what is in their products. As we are able to make decisions such as whether to buy an item that contains gluten, soy, dairy etc, we should be able to make the decision whether to consume items that contain GMO ingredients.