Labeling Standards: The Fight for Food Transparency

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably noticed the commotion being made over the GMO-labeling movement. Robyn O'Brien, a former financial analyst who covered the food industry, and current food-labeling advocate, recently wrote an article on TakePart arguing for increased transparency in the food system.

When it comes to the labeling movement, the US is behind the times. All of our key trading partners–over 60 countries around the world–require genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled. These labeling requirements allow citizens to be educated consumers, deciding for themselves what they wish to consume. As O'Brien writes, labeling practices can give us basic information about the way our food was produced, such as how a crop has been grown, what synthetic chemicals–including pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals– were allowed to be applied.

Interestingly, American food companies comply with these labeling standards overseas, in order to keep their markets in those countries. But those same companies do not comply with the labeling standards here. States such as Colorado, Oregon, and Vermont have considered legislation to make these labels mandatory, but many high-powered food corporations (such as Monsanto, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Kraft, and more) are fighting against legislation like this.

The pro-labeling movement is not about whether you are pro- or anti-GMO. Instead, the pro-labeling movement aims to increase transparency in our food system by requiring that genetically engineered ingredients be labeled as such.

To learn more, check out http://www.ema-online.org/. For a list of companies fighting labeling legislation, see http://www.takepart.com/photos/companies-against-gmo-labeling.

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