GMOs in Food: The Label Debate

The debate over whether and how to label foods that contain genetically modified organisms will not be resolved by science, according to Dr. Carmen Bain, a sociologist at the University of Iowa. She contends that the complexity of the topic makes it a ripe target for activists on both sides of the agricultural food system.

GMO labeling advocates say they’re in favor of consumer choice and transparency about what’s in our food. Opponents insist that science is on their side and that mandatory labeling will drive an increase in food costs.

There’s no clear picture of what a GMO label would look like, how large it would be or where it would appear on a package. In the end, Bain said the recent move toward voluntary non-GMO labels is one that could mostly resolve the issue. Big brands and retailers that adopt such labels will be seen as consumer-friendly. People will have the information they want to make personal choices.


This program is funded by Monsanto, Organic Trade Association, AARP Foundation, American Farm Bureau Federation. NPF is solely responsible for the content.

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