* Consumers have a right to know what’s in their food, especially concerning products for which health and environmental concerns have been raised (Raab and Grobe, 2003). * Mandatory labeling will allow consumers to identify and steer clear of food products that cause them problems. * Surveys indicate that a majority of Americans support mandatory labeling. (However, such surveys often do not specify the effect on food prices.) * least 21 countries and the European Union have established some form of mandatory labeling *
* For religious or ethical reasons, many Americans want to avoid eating animal products, including animal DNA. Anti-labeling Arguments
* Labels on GE food imply a warning about health effects, whereas no significant differences between GE and conventional foods have been detected. If a nutritional or allergenic difference were found in a GE food, current FDA regulations require a label to that effect. * Labeling of GE foods to fulfill the desires of some consumers would impose a cost on all consumers. Experience with mandatory labeling in the European Union, Japan, and New Zealand has not resulted in consumer choice. Rather, retailers have eliminated GE products from their shelves due to perceived consumer aversion to GE products (Carter and Gruere, 2003). * Consumers who want to buy non-GE food already have an option: to purchase certified organic foods, which by definition cannot be produced with GE ingredients. * The food system infrastructure (storage, processing, and transportation facilities) in this country could not currently accommodate the need for segregation of GE and non-GE products. * Consumers who want to avoid animal products need not worry about GE food. No GE products currently on the market or under review contain animal genes. (However, there is no guarantee that this will not happen in the future.) Issues with Mandatory Labeling
Although mandatory labeling of GE...