Friday, May 23, 2014

Vermont – the First State in the US to Label GM Foods

Vermont was the first state in the US to abolish slavery. Today it became the first for passing a mandatory GMO labelling law. It is really unclear how this move will help consumers. In fact, it will certainly increase food price as labelling exercise would involve a lot of monitoring and testing procedures throughout the agriculture supply chain.

                                             Enjoying a GM corn in the US.

With or without GM labelling, food price is already increasing. GM labelling law will only escalate the rise.
In some cases, the price might remain the same with some essential ingredients being omitted. One example is Post’s Grape-Nut cereals. After going “GM-free”, the recipe has been modified and it no longer includes Vitamin a, Vitamin D, Riboflavin and vitamin B12. Consumers are being short changed for the price they are paying. But are they aware of this?

While I don’t condone GM labelling, it might even be a blessing in the long run.

If we start checking our shopping carts at a grocery mart, almost everything in there contains at least one GM ingredients. High-fructose corn syrup; soy, corn and canola oil; lecithin and other soy isolates; oils, fat and shortening from GM corn, soy and canola; and any derivatives from soy and corn are found in almost all our foods.

Dairy products can be made of milk from cows injected with rBST – a recombinant hormone that makes cow produce more milk. GM corn and soy are fed to almost all poultry and livestock animals. That would leave us with a hand-full of non-GM foods. So, it looks like almost all our foods will carry a GM label, or the food producer will resort to using non-GM ingredients and then increase the price.

Finally, consumers will just get so used to GM food that the label will no longer bother them. GM foods will be the mainstream food. I just think this is inevitable. It is just a matter of time. The anti-GM activists might have won the battle but they will eventually lose the war.

By Dr Mahaletchumy Arujanan

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