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  • Dan Dredger wrote a new post, G.M.O.s in Food? Vermonters Will Know 3 years, 5 months ago

    By Stephanie Strom
    Nearly all food labels in Vermont are now required to disclose when products include genetically engineered ingredients. The requirement, passed two years ago, became effective on Friday.
    The […]

    • Those who oppose labeling seem to have no good intent. Count me very much pro-choice on this issue, and pro-informed-choice at that. What’s the other side? Pro-(genetically modified)-Life? Pro-Secrecy?

      Well done Vermont, even if just one state requires this, the major packagers will find it easier to do one-size-fits-all packaging, so everyone (in the USA) gets the labeling information, and the right of informed choice. There can – and should – be a scramble to get the labeling in place ahead of the competition, and increase market share in Vermont. That’s the American Way, isn’t it?

    • I am mystified by those who oppose including GMO information on food labels. I am encouraged by the potential of genetically modifying crops to increase nutrional value and yield, and would welcome such labels so that I could choose those improved alternatives over inferior products. Yes, there might be unanticipated complications with some modifications, but this is where the scientific method proves valuable: scientists analyze the results to identify such problems, make additional modifications to eliminate them, and eventually determine the safest, most beneficial product. The biggest concern, of course, is that companies all-too-often allow their greed for increased profits to eclipse proper scientific scrutiny. Nonetheless, the executives in board rooms have no choice but to rely upon the scientists, and I would like to think that, at least in the long run, the latter would refuse to turn a blind eye to the misuse of their experiments.

    • The complete failure to science in the anti-GMO crowd is up there in failure equity with the anti-vaxxers, creationists and flat-earthers.

    • • The GMO labeling effort is not science-based nor evidence-based. It is strictly ideology-based. My wife and I collaborated on an open letter to Bernie Sanders (Vermont):

      AN OPEN LETTER TO BERNIE SANDERS
      sent July 1, 2016 to his online Senate office

      Dear Bernie Sanders: My wife and I have been strong supporters of your presidential campaign because we agree with your efforts to reverse our country’s slide into a de facto oligarchy. We each have donated monthly for the past half year or so in the famous amount of 27 dollars, and occasionally in increments of 50 and 100 dollars — which are real amounts in our middle-class budget.

      However, one area that we strongly disagree with is your position on GMO labeling. The effort to require GMO labeling is not based on objective scientific evidence. The effort to require GMO labeling is based on ideological belief, which is fueled by misinformation and disinformation.

      The effort to require labeling of GMO food has the indirect goal of vilifying a process that has been proven safe over and over again. However, GMO labeling does introduce complicated extra steps in the marketplace of food production that necessarily increase food costs.

      And GMO labeling is not about nutritional “choice.” Mandatory GMO labeling does not serve any objective nutritional need. If some companies want to voluntarily label their products “GMO-free,” that’s fine — as long as their products do not actually benefit from GMO processes. For those who choose not to eat GMO products for ideological reasons, the voluntary labeling of products GMO-free already provides as much choice as it does for people who choose products labeled “organic.”

      Wealthy people can easily afford the significant extra cost of organic products and so-called “health food” — a term that has lost any reliable meaning in our marketplace — but mandatory GMO labeling increases costs for ALL people, including those with fewer financial resources.

      The effort to require GMO labeling also indirectly retards academic research aimed at helping to feed a planet with billions of people, which is becoming more difficult due to climate change.

      Mr Sanders, my wife and I are middle-class — not wealthy. We are not associated with “agribusiness” or any company producing GMO products. We just think that food labeling should be evidence-based — not ideology-based. We hope that you will eventually come to this conclusion as well.

    • The idea that changing the content of a label is a significant cost that will be passed on to the consumer is utterly ridiculous in 2016.

      Obviously it isn’t the act of changing the label, since manufacturers routinely change their labels for promotions and advertising campaigns, celebrity endorsements etc. They also label the ingredients down to the last preservative and colouring, preparation instructions, recipe suggestions, and safety warnings (caution – may be hot after heating!). It’s trivial with 2016 technology to print any label you want.

      So it must be that they just aren’t sure where all their ingredients come from?

      I’d like to hear a manufacturer openly admit that, because it smacks of incompetence combined with recklessness to the point of criminal negligence.

    • MadEnglishman #9
      Jul 6, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      So it must be that they just aren’t sure where all their ingredients come from?

      In the modern world where product codes and computer tracking are routine, there is no excuse for this.

      I’d like to hear a manufacturer openly admit that, because it smacks of incompetence

      It is more likely that they don’t want goods tracked because of some fraudulent tax dodging, or non-compliance with quarantine, food safety, or health regulations.
      For example there are strict regulations on the transport of live animals, and meat products, to avoid the spread of disease.
      These were clearly being flouted during the European horse-meat scandal!

      combined with recklessness to the point of criminal negligence.

      It could be, –
      Or they just don’t want the customers to be able to compare the quality and ingredients of competitive products!