To Label or Not to Label?

Food labeling is something that is necessary and helpful in many situations, such as allergies or sensitivities. However, labels have been used as a sort of propaganda, in that if one label mentions being “_______-free,” the competing product is therefore implied to contain whatever this blank may be (gluten, sugar, steroids/hormones, GMOs, etc). It is important for products to be properly labeled, and I do believe that the public has the right to know what is in the products they are consuming, however there should be limitations. Certain items simply cannot contain gluten, or maybe dairy, and therefore labeling them this way should not be able to be used as a competitive marketing technique.

Consumers recently have become more interested in what their food contains more than ever before, which is good in that society wants to be healthier. However, in order for labels, especially GMO labels, to be beneficial to both society and the industry, education of the public is necessary. GMOs are an agricultural technological tool that have allowed agriculture to excel, and should not be demonized due to misunderstanding. I imagine that because of society’s insistence on labeling, companies will be pushed into GMO labeling in the close future. If so, I think it would be helpful to include educational information on the packaging as well, in hopes that the public will be more open when given more information.

Regardless of the laws placed on labeling, further education about GMOs is still necessary for people to get both sides of the story, and to fully understand what exactly is being offered to them so they can make an educated decision.

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