Labeling Issues

Food Toxicology 2(2+0)
Lesson 31 : Safety of GMO foods

Labeling Issues

Currently there are no regulations to impose mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods. This is a subject of great controversy. Some of the points raised against mandatory labeling are:

  • Is there a need for the consumer needs to know how the food was produced.
  • One need not label a process if there are no alterations in the safety or the identity of the food produced. Traditional breeding often involves a similar, less direct method of modification of foods, yet no labeling is required

The arguments in favor of mandatory labeling are:

  • The consumers have the right to know that the food they are consuming is a product of genetic engineering.
  • Consumers have the right to know, for religious, cultural, or other reasons, how the food is processed and most foods subject to any kind of processing might, under these conditions, need to be labeled.

However, consumers should be aware that mandatory labeling would result in higher prices for the foods.

Finally it is not possible to say that the process of genetic engineering for the production of food materials is completely safe. There are very complicated issues that must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. This tool of genetic engineering is very powerful and should be investigated thoroughly as to its ability to feed an expanding world population. There are many concerns with respect to consumption, ecological issues, and labeling that also will require addressing on a case-by-case basis so that full consideration is given. There will continue to be many potential benefits of this technology, some already experienced and others yet to be explored.

Last modified: Monday, 27 February 2012, 9:56 AM