The Connecticut-based news website the Hartford Courant recently published an op-ed regarding the status of Connecticut’s law mandating the labeling of GMO foods. The article condemns the idea of legally mandating GMO labels on foods, essentially arguing that that law is not only needless, but that there is a lack of evidence that GMO foods do any harm to consumers’ health and that laws such as these support what the author calls, “scientific ignorance.” The author cites a 2012 American Medical Association study, which found that bioengineered foods were not dangerous because they had been consumed for close to 20 years with no adverse affects reported. The author furthers his argument by going on to equate fear of genetically modified foods with “the anti-vacination mania, fear of fluridation and the widespread (yet incorrect) belief that climate change is a hoax.”
While the author makes some interesting points, he is pretending the situation regarding whether we should or shouldn’t create laws mandating the labeling of genetically modified foods is simpler than it actually is. As one Frosted Food Blog writer has already stated in a blog post, there actually is a great deal of scientific controversy surrounding the safety of many of Monsanto’s products such as Aspertame – who’s to say that some of their other genetically modified products aren’t just as dangerous? Genetically modified foods cannot be equated with other movements of “scientific ignorance,” as the author refers to them, because the scientific research does not yet actually lean one way or the other regarding GMO’s – they haven’t been around long enough for us to truly know their effects.
Finally, if nothing else, our democracy is meant to represent our people and give them a voice. According to the Consumer Reports National Research Center somewhere around 92% of people are in favor of labeling foods containing GMO’s – the majority has spoken and it is overwhelming. Ultimately, it is the government’s job to respect those wishes of the people, no matter what big corporations like Monsanto tell them.