Although there is a perceived increase of genetically modified foods in the US market for several years now, so few people seem to notice it. It seems that consumers may not have an idea of the type of food they are buying off the supermarket shelves. Is it genetically modified? Is it organically grown?
These questions may amount to be addressed by a simple solution that has recently become quite a controversial issue between different camps of the GMO debacle- the labeling of genetically modified foods.
The issue concerning the labeling of genetically modified foods has become quite an issue, especially in the United States. On one side, there are the people who believe that it is just normal to put on labels on food products that contain genetically modified organisms.
But on the other hand, there is the other side that says that it is unfair to differentiate genetically modified food products apart from ordinary food through labeling. This is where the argument has started and each camp has their own reasons for their stand on the issue.
On the part of the pro-GMO labeling camp, their main reason why labels should be put on GMO products is because consumers have the right to know. Consumers have the right to know which food they are eating and should be informed with proper labeling. The pro-GMO labeling camp in the US has been lobbying for requiring companies to place proper labeling on food products that might contain genetically modified organisms.
Currently, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has not issued any regulation about the proper labeling of such food products and hence has not required any companies to do so. This may have been in part of the intense opposition of the other camp over the GMO product labeling issue.
Opponents to the GMO product labeling issue is composed mainly of biotech companies and food product manufacturers who might be affected by certain labeling requirements concerning food products that are made of or contain genetically modified organisms. This group fears that such additional labeling may have their products being discriminated upon by the consumers.
They believe that putting such labels on their food products might lead consumers to believe that such products are deemed as risky, all for the wrong reasons. Such labeling may discourage consumers to buy such food products even though they have been found to be substantially equivalent to GMO-free food products.
Furthermore, this group believes that additional labeling on GMO food products would amount to added costs in producing them. This would especially affect companies that produce both GMO and non-GMO food products. Such companies would have to provide additional storage facilities for isolating their different food products to avoid contamination. This alone would also provide logistical problems which would clearly be costly.
Both camps, especially in the US are still arguing whether or not to place proper labeling on GMO food products. Each camp has valid arguments to fight for and it looks like the conclusion to this matter is not yet in sight. It is currently a stalemate that needs to be addressed quickly since putting consumers guessing may already have an impact on the overall view about genetic modification.