A new study from Cornell University says GMO labeling would cost a family of four around $500 a year in food purchases if a GMO labeling mandate was put into place.
But it’s not just families who would be burdened by the costs. Food packaging companies would experience increased costs, farmers would see a decrease in income and state governments would be expected to implement and monitor the program.
GMO labeling legislation has been proposed in 25 states across the country and thus far initiatives have failed in both California and Washington. But legislation has passed in Connecticut, Maine and Vermont. Vermont’s law is supposed to go into effect in 2016 while Connecticut and Maine are contingent upon regional acceptance.
This inconsistency in labeling would increase costs and add to consumer confusion about their food. These added costs and confusion are simply not necessary as GMO crops have been sold in the United States for two decades and over 6,000 studies have been completed, all proving them to be safe.
Through the use of biotechnology, farmers have become entirely more sustainable as GMO crops require less energy, water and pesticide while increasing overall yields. These facts are supported by the very man who started the anti-GMO movement, Mark Lynas. Lynas now publicly supports GMO crops as a safe and necessary way to benefit human nutrition and the environment.
A perfect example is Golden Rice, which has been altered to contain Vitamin A, providing millions around the world with a crucial nutrient that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise. Another example is the papaya, which was literally saved by biotechnology.
But this recent stat from the Economist might be the most telling in this whole GMO debate. More than three million children under five years old died in 2013 due to malnutrition, while no one has ever died due to genetically modified food.
“American families deserve safe, abundant and affordable food,” said Claire Parker of the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food. “GMOs have been used in our food supply for more than 20 years and no study has ever shown them to be unsafe or different from foods without GMOs. Repeated studies, however, have shown that the high cost of mandatory labeling would dramatically increase the price of groceries at the checkout aisle for consumers. A mandatory GMO label will just make it more difficult and expensive for hard-working American families to put food on the table.”