The discussion of what to and what not to label is very controversial. There are many positive and negatives about labeling to the farmers, the public and the businesses.
As a fourth generation farmer myself, I believe that labeling promotes and hurts the agriculture industry. It hurts our industry by making consumers believe that without the label, it is not qualified. For example by adding a label that says “no added hormones” on a chicken breast, people believe that some ccommercially grown birds have hormones added in them. But since 1960’s the Food and Drug Administration put a regulation on the industry and we have not been able to use hormones on any bird commercially raised since then. Yet, the positive is that labeling allows farmers to be transparent in their practices.
For the public, labeling positively impacts them by allowing them to know what is in their food. It also helps with those who have allergies because they know what to avoid without having to do research themselves. But negatively the consumers are hurt because they are misguided with the labels. An example is have gluten free water or non-GMO bacon. Both of these obviously cannot contain that ingredient, but our consumers are uneducated about where their food comes from and what it takes to produce that product.
Some businesses truly take advantage of labeling. They know that the public is interested in being healthy, local, fresh, and much more. Therefore, they over label their item to grab the consumer’s attention, and once that consumer buys their product once, they typically will keep buying it. However, labeling restrictions that people are encouraging, such a labeling GMO or non-GMO on everything produced will hurt an industry. This will hurt them by billions of dollars, simply by the packaging.
I personally believe that labeling may be necessary for some labels, but I believe over labeling should be illegal as it is a marketing gimmick to consumers. With that in mind, I believe consumers should be required to take an agriculture class and learn more about their food, therefore they can be aware about what contains gluten and GMO’s for example as well as the practices farmers do to grow a safe and sustainable product.