Importance of labeling GMO foods
Mandatory labeling of GMO foods has become one of the hotly debated issues recently. Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has proposed a policy which will require all GMO foods to be labeled. GMOs refers to genetically modified organisms which their genes have been artificially engineered within certain laboratory conditions (Twardowski & Małyska, 2015). It is evident that the proposed policy is a good thing for the country, especially to consumers. FDA does not currently require GMO foods labeling, except in certain foods. The new policy will require mandatory labeling of all GMO foods. I support this policy because it will create a worldwide standard for the labeling of food. This is because numerous large firms have a global presence in food stores. Most countries across the globe have passed laws requiring mandatory labeling in GMO foods (Yang & Chen, 2016).
Since most countries require GMO labeling, it implies that the labeling requirement is in place for numerous global companies. Although there might be additional costs for certain companies in various markets, the actual production and design costs are known already and customers have already accepted those costs. Additionally, mandatory labeling will enhance ingredient awareness. This is an important thing for public health since many consumers have precise dietary requirements that ought to be followed. Labeling will also make it easier for consumers to make appropriate eating choices (Twardowski & Małyska, 2015). The labeling will require producers to inform customers about the DNA that was used to modify a certain product.
Furthermore, consumers have the right to understand the ingredients of food they are consuming. Mandatory labeling of these foods will, therefore, meet consumers' expectations of right-to-know on what is contained in their food. The requirement of GMO labeling will give customers more information regarding what is contained in the food. Chances will be good that consumers may not be aware of where the food originates from but they know what DNA was used to modify that food. This will be good for the consumers because a food may contain substances which one might be allergic to (Yang & Chen, 2016). Therefore, this labeling will enable customers to make good choices when selecting food products to purchase.
Additionally, mandatory labeling will decrease huge corporate influences in various farming practices. Most consumers want mandatory labeling since they are concerned about what is contained in their food. Various mass-produced products, including livestock and crop products, often have GMO ingredients mainly because it is usually less costly to produce food using this technology rather than traditional methods. By requiring mandatory labeling, the influence of big agricultural firms on small growers and farmers will be decreased (Twardowski & Małyska, 2015). People will get the opportunity to support local farmers in their local stores which will help in boosting the economy of the community.
Mandatory labeling requirement will also help consumers to state caring about the foods they are eating. A study conducted recently to explore what people in the country know about the food they consume revealed that only two out of three persons knew that food which does not have GMO ingredients have genes. 46% of participants never knew if they normally consume GMO foods. About 50% claimed they never examine information regarding how the food they purchase is manufactured (Yang & Chen, 2016). Mandatory labeling may make people start understanding the food they consume. It will also help consumers to make sound and informed decisions on food choices since the labels will be having clear information on the ingredients in each package.
Additionally, mandatory labeling will provide a tracking tool. It is easier to track problems in the food chain when each product has a label detailing ingredients as well as growing methods. In the US food chain, there are already problems especially on products with high-calories, which can result in obesity. The increasing obesity rates in the country seem to have a link with the increasing rate of food insecure households. However, by requiring GMO foods to be labeled, it will be easier and effective to track issues in the food chain and create solutions which can help in reducing food insecurity problems (Twardowski & Małyska, 2015). Therefore, I support the new policy which requires all GMO foods to be labeled.
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