Series: The Benevolent Side of GMOs
I wish I could say this headline is mine: Embrace The Biotech In Your Basket. It is not, and I can’t improve upon it. I found the article for this post in a South African blog called Food Stuff. It is written by Dr Leon Van Eck, a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Genetics (Faculty of Agricultural Sciences) at Stellenbosch University in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
The whole article is excellent but there is one particular paragraph that I really, REALLY like. Even though I left the anti-GMO movement, I’ve maintained the position that labeling is at the very least inevitable. The cat is out of the bag now. There is no going back and consumers are going to demand it, but, Van Eck has a labeling idea that could probably win over a lot of folks. He writes (bold words are my edit):
With the recent rejection of California Proposition 37, labeling of food made from GE crops has gained more media coverage worldwide. Merely labeling a product “contains GMOs” makes it seem like a warning of some sort, and in fact does not allow a consumer to make an informed choice at all. It’s simple scaremongering, and a wasted opportunity to educate. As a consumer, I might want to know that a product is made from a crop engineered to use less chemical fertilizer (that is) bad for the environment, or to require less pesticide that might be harmful to farm workers. Food labeling helps us all make informed decisions, and it’s how that labeling is done that makes the difference.
What I like so much is the idea that a label should educate, not scare people. Brilliant! This kind of label could even be voluntary. Instead of denying consumers their labels, tout what the GM product offers. So many consumers feel like there is nothing in GM products for them. Tell them otherwise!
Couldn’t labels be a way to tell the biotech story? Please, share your thoughts on this.
~Julee K @ Sleuth4Health/email: firstname.lastname@example.org