Labeling GM food has been under close scrutiny especially in the United States. It seems that most biotech companies are against it for fear that it will prevent consumers from eventually avoiding buying foods that might contain genetically modified crops as ingredients.
But lack of proper labeling might work against the consumers themselves when it comes to having the right to know. Different camps on the debate seem to have their own reasons and it is important that more people should be able to know what these are.
Despite the lack of proper labeling for foods that contain GM crops for ingredients, the use of such crops has actually been growing from year to year. And because of the lack of proper labeling for foods with genetically modified crop ingredients, many Americans may be totally unaware of how much of the food they are taking contain GM crops as ingredients.
It might surprise a lot of Americans today that as early as 2002, American supermarkets have about 60 percent of products on their shelves known to contain GMO’s. Along that time, statistics have shown that only a 14 percent of American consumers believe that over half of the food on the supermarket shelves contain food products with GMO.
What is even more surprising is that only 19 percent of American consumers believe that they have eaten a GM food product. This just shows that the typical American consumer is not given the proper information to the type of food products that they are eating today. This credit goes to the few powerful biotech companies handling a majority of the GMO market today.
The reason why there is a great disparity between low consumer awareness and the reality behind the high percentage of GMO food products in the market is the lack of proper labeling. Biotech companies believe that labeling products as containing GMO’s may prove to be unfair to them.
It might have a negative impact on GM food products that may bring down sales of many of the current food products containing genetically modified food ingredients. And statistics may give proof to this. A little more than half of Americans (54 percent) say that labeling GM foods will have a negative effect on their purchasing decision.
The reason it seems for biotech companies to fight against GM food labeling is economically-based. They might lose their business in case consumers become aware of certain products containing GMO’s are labeled as such. But doing so might look like shortchanging the ordinary American consumer.
Every consumer should have the right to know what they are putting on their dinner table. But what the biotech companies are doing is that they are trying to hide behind the cloak on improper labeling to drive their business success. It is the fear of consumers on the possible effects of GM foods that biotech companies seem to loathe.
Some of these fears might prove to be unfounded. But instead of biotech companies trying hard to fight off putting labels on GMO food products, why not try to convince people on the safety of GM foods and dispel the fears that consumers seem to have on them, if they do say that they are unfounded fears in the first place. That seems to be the most logical way, with giving each side a fair shake.