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Debate: Mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods

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====Pro==== ====Pro====
*'''Labeling gives consumers a choice on consuming GM foods.''' [http://www.landinstitute.org/vnews/display.v/ART/2002/10/18/3db994e62c284 Craig Holdrege. "Why don't we label genetically modified food?" The Land Institute. October 18, 2002]: "When you buy reconstituted orange juice at the supermarket, the label tells you it is 'from concentrate.' For this you can thank the Food and Drug Administration, with its mandate to promote 'honest and fair dealing with consumers.' [...] Part of the idea is to ensure that foods are truthfully labeled so producers cannot deceive consumers. Labels must include information about amounts, contents, additives such as vitamins and preservatives, and processing methods ('from concentrate'). [...] So why is your bag of corn chips containing genetically modified corn silent about this fact?" *'''Labeling gives consumers a choice on consuming GM foods.''' [http://www.landinstitute.org/vnews/display.v/ART/2002/10/18/3db994e62c284 Craig Holdrege. "Why don't we label genetically modified food?" The Land Institute. October 18, 2002]: "When you buy reconstituted orange juice at the supermarket, the label tells you it is 'from concentrate.' For this you can thank the Food and Drug Administration, with its mandate to promote 'honest and fair dealing with consumers.' [...] Part of the idea is to ensure that foods are truthfully labeled so producers cannot deceive consumers. Labels must include information about amounts, contents, additives such as vitamins and preservatives, and processing methods ('from concentrate'). [...] So why is your bag of corn chips containing genetically modified corn silent about this fact?"
 +
 +*'''Labeling respects opinion of those not wanting to consume GM foods.''' Many people are highly opposed to consuming genetically modified foods. The government must respect that opinion, and give these individuals the ability to avoid GM foods, simply by labeling GM foods so that they can make such a choice. To not mandate this is to disregard and disrespect these opinions.
*'''[[Argument: GMFs cause life-threatening allergies|GMFs cause life-threatening allergies]]''' [http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview.php "Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?"(Released April 2000)by Deborah B. Whitman]:"Allergenicity -Many children in the US and Europe have developed life-threatening allergies to peanuts and other foods. There is a possibility that introducing a gene into a plant may create a new allergen or cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals. A proposal to incorporate a gene from Brazil nuts into soybeans was abandoned because of the fear of causing unexpected allergic reactions31. Extensive testing of GM foods may be required to avoid the possibility of harm to consumers with food allergies. Labeling of GM foods and food products will acquire new importance, which I shall discuss later." *'''[[Argument: GMFs cause life-threatening allergies|GMFs cause life-threatening allergies]]''' [http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview.php "Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?"(Released April 2000)by Deborah B. Whitman]:"Allergenicity -Many children in the US and Europe have developed life-threatening allergies to peanuts and other foods. There is a possibility that introducing a gene into a plant may create a new allergen or cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals. A proposal to incorporate a gene from Brazil nuts into soybeans was abandoned because of the fear of causing unexpected allergic reactions31. Extensive testing of GM foods may be required to avoid the possibility of harm to consumers with food allergies. Labeling of GM foods and food products will acquire new importance, which I shall discuss later."

Revision as of 17:50, 20 July 2009

Should genetically modified foods be labeled?

Background and context

Genetically modified foods have been a concern for many people around the world. Europeans have been the most vocal in their opposition of biotechnology for several years. The European Commission has proposed mandatory labeling for genetically modified foods that contain even a single ingredient with one percent genetically modified material. The main argument is that they are a risk to human health, due to unforeseen effects of genetic modification. The general idea behind labeling of genetically modified foods is that it makes consumers aware of which foods are genetically modified and which ones are not, so that if they object on a personal level, that they can avoid consuming them.


Risks: Are GM foods a health risk?

Pro

  • Labeling gives consumers a choice on consuming GM foods. Craig Holdrege. "Why don't we label genetically modified food?" The Land Institute. October 18, 2002: "When you buy reconstituted orange juice at the supermarket, the label tells you it is 'from concentrate.' For this you can thank the Food and Drug Administration, with its mandate to promote 'honest and fair dealing with consumers.' [...] Part of the idea is to ensure that foods are truthfully labeled so producers cannot deceive consumers. Labels must include information about amounts, contents, additives such as vitamins and preservatives, and processing methods ('from concentrate'). [...] So why is your bag of corn chips containing genetically modified corn silent about this fact?"
  • Labeling respects opinion of those not wanting to consume GM foods. Many people are highly opposed to consuming genetically modified foods. The government must respect that opinion, and give these individuals the ability to avoid GM foods, simply by labeling GM foods so that they can make such a choice. To not mandate this is to disregard and disrespect these opinions.
  • GMFs cause life-threatening allergies "Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?"(Released April 2000)by Deborah B. Whitman:"Allergenicity -Many children in the US and Europe have developed life-threatening allergies to peanuts and other foods. There is a possibility that introducing a gene into a plant may create a new allergen or cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals. A proposal to incorporate a gene from Brazil nuts into soybeans was abandoned because of the fear of causing unexpected allergic reactions31. Extensive testing of GM foods may be required to avoid the possibility of harm to consumers with food allergies. Labeling of GM foods and food products will acquire new importance, which I shall discuss later."
  • Labeling helps inform consumers of potential risks of GM foods. There are certain risks surrounding the consumption of genetically modified foods. These generally surround the use of various bacterias in the construction of new strains of foods, which if consumed, and potentially have harmful effects on humans. Labels help inform consumers that a particular product has such modifications and caries such health risks, so that if they are strongly concerned about GM foods, they can be sure that they are eating 100% natural foods.
  • GM labeling improves confidence in food safety measures. "Importance of labeling GM foods". GM.org: "Importance of labeling GM foods. An effective and successful labeling strategy for GM foods is impossible unless we develop precise traceability mechanisms to identify where GM ingredients are in the food chain. Regulatory and scientific inability to map out GM food products from fields to tables may act to lessen public confidence regarding food security. So in order to increase consumer confidence and trust in GM food products, information about improved traceability methods should be provided."



Con

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Risks: Are genetically modified crops an environment hazard?

Pro

Con

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Pro

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Con

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Pro/con sources

Pro


Con

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