Foods that have ingredients which were genetically modified will have a different label. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has revealed how the label could look, but so far it has only added confusion among people. Nonetheless, the USDA will accept comments on their proposal from the public until July 3.
After gathering feedback from 112,000 consumers, the USDA came up with a new label for products that contain GMO ingredients.
The Result Was Confusing
The answer might be positive if you take a look at the new prototypes of the label. They look like something you’d see on healthy food: with bright colors and a smiley face. This is George Kimbrell’s opinion – who is the legal director of the Center for Food Safety:
“I mean, they look like a little smiley face. They’re very pro-biotech, cartoonishly so, and to that extent are, you know, not just imparting information but instead are essentially propaganda for the industry.”
The letters B and E come from ‘bioengineered,’ which is a new way to say GMO (genetically engineered).
Kimbrell adds that the rephrasing will confuse many consumers:
“It’s misleading and confusing to consumers to now switch that up and use a totally different term, bioengineered, that has not been the standard commonplace nomenclature for all of this time.”
Instead, he thinks that the label should have a “G” or “GMO” inside the circle.
Getting a New Name
On the other hand, the director of biotechnology and crop inputs at the National Corn Growers Association – Nathan Fields says why the new term is better:
“There’s some connotations around some of the terms that have been used that do cast the technology in a negative light.”
John Heisdorffer, a soybean producer and the director of the American Soybean Association, was initially against GMO products, but he agrees that:
“The product has been around for a long time. You don’t hear of any folks getting sick, or beyond that, through biotech.”
Moreover, scientists haven’t found any link between human health issues and consumption of GMO crops. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine looked into more than 900 research papers on this issue and concluded in 2016 that GMOs have no negative impact on our health.
However, polls showed that the public wants to see labels showing if products contain GMO ingredients.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere