Should Genetically Modified Organisms Foods Be Labeled?

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Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Three words (or letters) that can incite arguments between even the most rational individuals. However this paper is not a discussion on the safety, or lack thereof, of GMOs. Instead, it looks at the costs versus benefits of labeling genetically modified foods. Technically genetically modified (GM) means “any change to the heritable traits of an organism achieved by intentional manipulation” (Premanandh 37). Though when using the designation genetically modified in reference to food, it commonly refers to the transgenic modification of the organism’s genome in a laboratory for the purpose of enhancing desirable traits. These desirable traits can be increased resistance to pesticides and herbicides, improved growth under drought conditions, improved nutritional contents, and pest resistance. The first GMOs were developed for the industrial production of medicinal products in the late 1980s (Premanandh 37). By 1996 the first GMOs were grown for public consumption and today GM corn, cotton, oilseed rape (canola), and soybeans are widely available to consumers in the United States (Federici 519). Widespread use and consumption of GMOs throughout the past decade has caused an increased level of concern over the safety of GMOs. These concerns have led numerous states in the past several years to consider legislation to implement mandatory GMO labeling requirements. I however, do not think there should be mandatory GMO food labeling in the US; there are not enough demonstrable benefits of mandatory labeling to make it an economically viable option.

Those who argue in favor of mandatory labeling of GMOs cite safety concerns and a right to make informed decisions. Fears of unanticipated environmen...

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...vernor of Vermont will sign the bill into law.

Works Cited
Bennett, Anna K. "GMO Labeling - Truth Beyond The Hype." Agricultural Management Committee Newsletter July 2013: 7-10. Web. 4 May 2014.
Federici, Valery. "Genetically Modified Food And Informed Consumer Choice: Comparing U.S. and E.U. Labeling Laws." Brooklyn Journal Of International Law 35.2 (2010): 515-561. Web. 4 May 2014.
Helme, Morgan Anderson. "Genetically Modified Food Fight: The FDA Should Step Up To The Regulatory Plate So States Do Not Cross The Constitutional Line." Minnesota Law Review 98.1 (2013): 356-384. Web. 4 May 2014.
Premanandh, Jagadeesan. "Global Consensus - Need Of The Hour For Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) Labeling." Journal Of Commercial Biotechnology 17.1 (2011): 37-44. Web. 4 May 2014.
Ronald, Pamela. "The Truth About GMOs." Boston Review (2013): 16-21. Web. 4 May 2014.
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