We want GMO Labels, but We Need Reliable Standards

Voluntary labeling of GMO foods (or non-GMO foods) has become increasingly common, but there are no uniform standards
Staff Writer
We want GMO Labels, but We Need Reliable Standards

Non-GMO Project

The label on that apple says it’s GMO-free, but how can you trust it?

According to the AP, 66 percent of Americans would support GMO labeling. However, because GMO labeling is not yet a national law, that means there are no uniform standards or compliance regulations for the GMO labels that are actually out there.

Right now, the nutrition facts label looks uniform on the back of every single food and drink package in America, because it is backed by legislation. However, for GMO-free foods, labeling has led to a lot of consumer confusion because a variety of designs, organizations, and agencies have given their seal of approval on a wide range of products, according to The New York Times. Most Americans want their GMO products labeled, and would be willing to pay more for non-GMO products, but voluntary labeling hasn’t helped the problem — it has added to the confusion and, ultimately, has not impacted our consumer habits as much as we thought it would.

The Non-GMO Project explained that certified non-GMO products tripled in sales in 2013, but $8.5 billion in sales represents only a small fraction of grocery stores’ total sales of $620 billion in 2013.

Without uniform consumer labels, people are highly unlikely to discern the difference between a GMO product and a non-GMO product, according to research by the Hartman Group. Here’s a hint: products made from corn, soy, canola, and sugar beets are almost guaranteed to be GMOs.

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