Senate Introduces New GMO Labeling Legislation
Roughly one week before Vermont becomes the first state to require food companies to label food that contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the Senate Agriculture Committee released new legislation that would force all states to do the same.
This bill would force food companies to disclose foods containing GMOs, although it would allow alternative disclosures such as bar codes as opposed to just directly on their products. This new legislation comes despite the fact that food containing GMOs are considered safe to eat by the major leading scientific organizations.
In a recent op-ed, Heritage Foundation agriculture expert, Daren Bakst, argues that a federal mandate on food labeling has five main problems including: 1.) uses the force of government to compel speech, 2.) legitimizes bad science, 3.) undermines a critical technology, 4.) reduces agricultural production, and 5.) creates a dangerous precedent for future federal mandates concerning food products.
Imposing a national mandate on food companies in response to one state law is poor government policy. Private businesses should work to satisfy their customers, not politicians in Washington, D.C.