Labeling Genetically Modified Products

1570 Words7 Pages
Biotechnology has been lauded as the future of agriculture. However, the business leaders and scientists involved in biotech did not predict how controversial genetically modified foods would be. Despite all the promises and merits proclaimed by research by different biotech companies and the governments like reduced pesticide usage, higher crop yields, the controversy surrounding its application to food production persists in many nations. One of the key issues that have surrounded the GM debate is the labeling of GM products. While some countries require the labeling of such products, others do not. This paper examines how labeling of genetically modified foods affects consumer willingness to purchase such products. By reviewing past research on the issue, the paper unearths that labeling is an important considerations for consumers when buying genetically modified products. The paper argues that labeling of GM products significantly affects the willingness of consumers to buy such products.
The increasing controversy over GM food products and consumers’ attempt to make better food purchasing decisions have raised interest in new objective information, including food labeling. Labeling has become a crucial public policy issue all over the globe. In the US particularly, truthful labeling has been used to offer consumers with information on calories, nutrients, as well as food ingredients (Caswell 23). However, the federal government requires explicit labeling in cases where a genetically modified food has different characteristics relative to the non-GM version of the product. In contrast, the European Commission demands each member state to implement a legislation requiring labeling of all new products that contain GM organisms...

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...or in not only determining the consumer’s decision to buy the product, but also how much he or she is willing to pay for it.

Works Cited
Caswell, Josh. "Should Use of Genetically Modified Organisms Be Labeled?"AgBioForum 1998 1:22-24.
Huffman, Wallace, Jason Shogren, Matthew Rousu and Abebayehu Tegene. Consumer Willingness To Pay For Genetically Modified Food Labels In Market With Diverse Information: Evidence From Experimental Auctions. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 2003 28(3): 481-502.
List, Joseph and Jason Shogren. "Price Information and Bidding Behavior in Repeated Second- Price Auctions."American Journal of Agricultural Economics 1999 81:942-49.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Guidance for Industry: Voluntary Labeling Indicating Whether Foods Have or Have Not Been Developed Using Bioengineering. 2001. Online. 7 December 2013.
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