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8 March 2014 - GMO Labeling - Here We Go Again

The labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms is something I have written about many times here on ‘Samuelson Sez’. I am going to do it one more time and I hope this is the last time.

The GMO issue continues to be contentious, appearing on state ballots across the country; even in California where it was soundly defeated a couple of years ago, supporters are now saying they want to give it another try. Let me repeat what I have said on my previous visits on the subject. I am against mandatory GMO labeling, especially if it carries a financial penalty for making a labeling mistake on a product. Voluntary labeling is fine if companies want to do it and feel that it is necessary.

I certainly am against state laws. This should not be a state issue. If you insist on GMO labeling, it should be a federal law to spare food companies from having to packaqe and label their food products for individual states. Think what that would add to the cost of food. And instead of labeling foods containing GMO’s, it might be easier and cheaper to label foods that do not contain GMO’s. Or better yet, take the suggestion I received from an Iowa farmer a year ago. If you don’t want GMO technology, buy your food in an organic food store where they claim all their foods are produced naturally, whatever that means.

I still agree with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s view on the subject. He said a year ago, “there are two reasons to label food, nutrition contents and if there is danger for people who have allergies.” Keep in mind that thus far, more than 150 different scientific studies have not proven or shown any danger to good health from foods containing GMO’s. Science must still be the key.

Let me also say that by fighting GMO technology, you are taking away the ability to produce food for a growing world population; you are taking food from the world’s hungry people who do not have well-stocked supermarket shelves. You are also hurting the environment because, without this technology, we would have to use a lot more land, much of it fragile and subject to wind and water erosion, to produce the food we need.

So, I have a suggestion for the people who support GMO labeling and spend millions of dollars trying to convince people to vote for it, and I have a suggestion for those who are opposed to GMO labeling and spend millions of dollars to make their point. Instead of all the scare commercials used by both sides, why not stop all this silliness and donate those millions of advertising dollars to local food pantries and help provide food for hungry people who generally don’t really care about the technology that has been used to produce that food. They just want food!

The solution to the labeling issue is already out there and it doesn’t have to cost millions of dollars to take it to the ballot box. Depending on your choice, buy your food at a conventional food store or at the organic food store; and give all those campaign dollars to your local food pantry.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.