Originally posted by thebtheb
Originally posted by Grimpachi
It just seems to me that labeling all goods that contain some GMOs is thinking backwards.
It would be like labeling all the non kosher foods as non kosher.
It makes a hell of a lot more sense to label the non GMO foods. It would justify the higher cost sort of like kosher foods to.
That would be great except people have already gotten sued for labeling their products as non GMO.
Originally posted by Phage
The labeling of GMO products is a topic of great concern. The arguments on both sides are reasonable (depending, of course, on your point of view).
The consumer has a right to know what they are eating. Absolutely! No way to argue that.
The expense will have to be borne by the consumer and not everyone cares about GMO. Oh, yeah. That makes sense too.
Let's think about this for a moment, shall we? Let's say that it does become a legal requirement that any food product which contains, or may contain GMO is required to put that information on the label in the interest of informed consumerism.
How would such a requirement be enforced? Well, if a certain level of GMO material is found in a product and that product does not carry the notification there would be hell to pay.
Now let's go back to the first argument against labeling, the expense. In order to be certain that there were no GMO materials or the materials did not exceed a certain threshold various new measures would have to be implemented in the transportation, storage, and processing of the raw materials. All of these measures would add expense and as we know, added expense is always passed on to the consumer. That's fine, let's assume that everyone is willing to accept that additional expense. What happens if somewhere in that complex chain, something goes wrong and a batch of GMO material gets mixed in with a batch of non-GMO material? Somebody is going to get fined and/or sued.
My question is this. With the added expense and legal risk involved, isn't the simplest solution for the producer to simply put the "May contain GMO" label on everything? It seems that is the only way to avoid legal risk (and increased costs).
So how does this result in a better informed consumer?
In order to be certain that there were no GMO materials or the materials did not exceed a certain threshold various new measures would have to be implemented in the transportation, storage, and processing of the raw materials.
Right. The cost isn't in the ink. It's in the verification that something does not contain GM material. It's in the tracking. It's in the infrastructure.
I don't believe there would be any additional cost in labelling as the ink to say no GMO would be around the same as to say contains GMO.
The cost in labelling GMO is negligible, or even non existent.
Sorry but you completely missed the point of the OP. Rather than risking a mistake in the food chain, rather than going through the added expense of verification (not "negligible"). Producers will simply put the "may contain GM" or "may have been produced by GM" label on any product which involves any crop for which there are GMOs (corn, soy, etc). The consumer will be no better informed about which products actually do.
Sorry but labelling GMO is NOT a dumb idea and your first point that people have a right to know what they are eating stands. Your title fails. The cost in labelling GMO is negligible, or even non existent.
Sorry but you completely missed the point of the OP.
Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism.
Plants or animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that are not naturally theirs. In general, genes are taken (copied) from one organism that shows a desired trait and transferred into the genetic code of another organism.
Except that there is no requirement that GM crops be handled separately from non-GM crops. Doing so would require new measures and infrastructure.
But it's a moot point. As per FDA regulation, Food Safety and Accountabilty standards that would apply to mandatory GMO-labeling are already in place, and new regulations, independent of genetically engineered crops, are likely to follow. The system already exists.
Sec. 204, Enhanced Tracking and Tracing of Food and Recordkeeping, has two major requirements. First, FDA, working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and State agencies, must establish pilot projects in coordination with the food industry to explore and evaluate methods and appropriate technologies for rapid and effective tracking and tracing of foods. Second, FDA must publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish recordkeeping requirements for high risk foods to help in tracing products.
Then why do we see lables that say "may contain peanuts"? Don't the manufactures know if their product actually contains nuts?
If a company uses genetically modified corn or soy for its products all they would have to do is to simply inform their customers about it. As it has been repeatedly pointed out to you, it all boils down to the extra ink.
What heavy regulation? Maybe you can refer me to some of your sources because from what I've seen the tracing of bulk materials is not entirely reliable or sufficient to guarantee a particular product is GM free. Unless things have changed a lot in the past three years:
My take away - Post Harvest Processing is heavily regulated in the US, the notion that food processing infrastructure would require substantial changes in order to avoid cross contamination of conventional crops with gmo's is just laughable.
Implementation of a traceability system in the bulk grain supply chain is a complex task. Food safety concerns are increasing in the United States as bulk commodities are commingled for domestic and export purposes without traceability systems and quality management controls. Recent food safety events--aflatoxin in grains, salmonella in spinach and tomatoes, and melamine in feed and food--caused illness or death in humans and animals. The lack of quality controls and traceability systems played a major role in the slow identification of the suspect products.
It is possible that a more precise level of grain traceability will occur through the ongoing use and
improvement of a quality management system. Some of these improvements are noted above.
Mr. Gordon said a typical country grain elevator may originate grain from roughly 250 suppliers in truckload quantities of 900 bus or less, amounting to about 4,500 individual inbound shipments per year. Once commingled, stored and handled, outbound shipments from a country elevator may contain some grain from all of the facility’s suppliers, he noted. The volumes and number of potential sources of supply increase even further at the terminal and export elevator levels.
Mr. Gordon said a typical feed mill manufacturing 100,000 tons of feed annually might originate grain from 10 or more different country elevators and use more than 100 different feed ingredients. The mill might receive and ship more than 5,000 truck shipments in a year.
The introduction of genetically modified (also called transgenic or biotech) crops for feed, pharmaceutical, and industrial uses into the U.S. grain handling system has shown that the infrastructure is often unable to identity-preserve the grains to the desired level of purity
(Ingles et al., 2006).
The final rule requires the establishment and maintenance of records by persons who manufacture, process, pack, transport, distribute, receive, hold, or import food in the United States. Such records are to allow for the identification of the immediate previous sources and the immediate subsequent recipients of food.
Section 1.326(a) requires that persons who manufacture, process, pack, transport, distribute, receive, hold, or import food (including food ingredients) must establish and maintain records as required by this regulation.
Requirements of the Act
The Bioterrorism Act applies to all domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food which will be consumed in the United States. These facilities must register with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Act requires, with limited exception, the registration with the FDA of any facility which processes, packs, manufacturers or holds food which will be consumed in the United States. In addition to registration, the Act also requires that these facilities maintain detailed records of the acquisition, production, distribution and sale of food products; that registrants are immediately accessible to the FDA; and that registrants are able to provide the FDA with detailed tracing of any food product at a moments notice. In addition, foreign processors must designate a U.S. based agent to serve as a contact point for the FDA.
As for now, Chipotle has identified several of its menu items—from tortilla chips to chicken cooked in soybean oil—as containing genetically modified organisms. Given the company’s preference for using organic, and locally produced ingredients, some customers were caught off-guard by the disclosure.
Read more: www.nydailynews.com...
Generally speaking, for all pre-packaged products consisting of or containing GMOs, Regulation 1830/2003 requires that operators indicate on a label: “This product contains genetically modified organisms” or “This product contains genetically modified [(name of organism(s)]”. For non pre-packaged products offered to the final consumer or to mass caterers (restaurants, hospitals, canteens and similar caterers) these words must appear on, or in connection with, the display of the product.
Yes. And as pointed out, that does not tell the tortilla factory where their raw materials come from. In order to effectively track GM products and segregate them from non-GM new procedures and infrastructure would be required. Even with those new measures "contamination" cannot be ruled out.
The requirements to keep and, if the FDA (or affiliated departments) demands inspection, to provide detailed records, apply to any kind of food produced, distributed and sold in the US.
Yes. And if that tortilla factory that knows exactly where its materials come from wishes to they can label their product as "non GM". Thereby by giving the consumer much better information than "may contain".
That means, unless your tortilla factory chooses to use strictly non-gmo corn for their products, they can practically guarantee that their tortillas do contain genetically modified corn derivatives.
Yes, just about any product in the US which contains corn (etc.) will contain GM material. Any consumer who is concerned about GM material is probably aware of that fact. Thus, a voluntary "non GM" labeling system makes more sense if giving the consumer a choice is the concern. It would be a lot easier to find a "non GM" label than to go scrounging around for that rare unlabeled box of cereal (which probably won't exist).
In this case, the difference between 'may contain' or 'does contain' is only a technicality. In most cases distributors can absolutely guarantee that their shipments contain GMO-crops, all they'd have to do is make the information available, and label accordingly within the US market, as they're already required to do so when trading with the EU.
In particular as regards genetically modified food and feed, Regulation 1829/2003 lays down specific labelling requirements. Genetically modified foods which are delivered as such to the final consumer or mass caterers (restaurants, hospitals, canteens and similar caterers) must be labelled, regardless of whether DNA or proteins derived from genetic modification are contained in the final product or not. The labeling requirement also includes highly refined products, such as oil obtained from genetically modified maize.
A voluntary "non GMO" system goes much farther in informing the consumer than a mandatory "may contain" system.
the affidavit system
Monsanto would have you believe that verifying and labeling for non-GMO ingredients is a costly and burdensome affair, but the fact that Trader Joe’s, known for its discount prices, can provide GMO-free private label products, which reportedly account for over two-thirds of the company’s estimated annual $9 billion in sales, takes the wind out of the “burdensome” argument.
That leaves the cost of adding another line of ink to a label. Trader Joe’s doesn’t yet label its private label products as GMO- free, but the company cites a lack of clear labeling guidelines from U.S. governmental agencies as the reason it doesn’t label, not cost.
As scientists, physicians, academics, and experts from disciplines relevant to the
scientific, legal, social and safety assessment aspects of genetically modified
organisms (GMOs),1 we strongly reject claims by GM seed developers and some
scientists, commentators, and journalists that there is a “scientific consensus” on
GMO safety2 3 4 and that the debate on this topic is “over”.5
We feel compelled to issue this statement because the claimed consensus on
GMO safety does not exist. The claim that it does exist is misleading and
misrepresents the currently available scientific evidence and the broad diversity
of opinion among scientists on this issue. Moreover, the claim encourages a
climate of complacency that could lead to a lack of regulatory and scientific rigour
and appropriate caution, potentially endangering the health of humans, animals,
and the environment.
Science and society do not proceed on the basis of a constructed consensus, as
current knowledge is always open to well-founded challenge and disagreement.
We endorse the need for further independent scientific inquiry and informed
public discussion on GM product safety and urge GM proponents to do the same.
Some of our objections to the claim of scientific consensus are listed below.
1. There is no consensus on GM food safety
2. There are no epidemiological studies investigating potential effects of
GM food consumption on human health
3. Claims that scientific and governmental bodies endorse GMO safety are
exaggerated or inaccurate
4. EU research project does not provide reliable evidence of GM food safety
5. List of several hundred studies does not show GM food safety
6. There is no consensus on the environmental risks of GM crops
7. International agreements show widespread recognition of risks posed by
GM foods and crops