If GMOs are safe, why is Monsanto so opposed to labeling them on food products? Shouldn’t we have a choice about what we buy?
I hear both of these statements a lot and I think they are valid questions with complicated answers. I’m just not sure everyone is really interested in the answer. It has to do with food costs and consumer awareness and government regulations and lots of other stuff I’d be happy to go into in another post. For now, lets focus on a not-so-obvious reason labeling GMOs might not be as good for us as we think.
One common misconception I’d like to debunk is that Monsanto is the only company creating GMO products. In reality there are many companies trying to compete in the free market for a share of the sales created by this technology. Monsanto is just the most well-known, certainly the most hated.
Currently each of the companies I linked to is busy hiring the best and brightest, dreaming up new technology, and testing those products over and over and over to make them the best products on the market. It’s how business works.
But what happens when businesses are asked to jump through hoop after hoop of red tape? Costs go up. Efficiency goes down. Business are hurt. Some companies even close their doors.
Currently Monsanto is the leader when it comes to new crop technologies. I’ve seen the hallway where they hang their patents; there are some seriously bright people working there.
So when it comes to weathering the storm of regulation, whose in a position to do it best? I’d guess the leader will manage to come out ahead. And the other companies? Well, maybe they’ll survive.
Any maybe its just me, but I like to think the free-market works best for everyone involved. The more companies there are producing products the more likely I am to get a fair price. The more companies there are creating car-safety and testing crash dummies the more likely I am to survive an accident.
So if you’d like your food to be affordable and safe, maybe labeling is actually the wrong way to go about it.
Just a thought.
And here’s another in the back of my mind. Currently if you want a product that contains no trans-fat or artificial flavors you look for a big circle that declares your kids fruit snacks to be “free of artificial flavors.” If you want your food to be GMO free you already have labels like the “Non GMO Project Verified” symbol, or “USDA Organic” seal. These choices are already available.
Maybe we’ve been focusing on the wrong label.