Right to Know or Right to Pay?
“Genetic Engineering” Labeling Controversy

By: Michelle King, Community Leadership major

Ever since the development of genetically engineered (GE) crops, there have been major debates over the risks and benefits of food products made with the new biotechnology methods. After more Americans found out biotechnology was being used with some of our major crops, they began to demand the information labeled on the products in the stores.

“We have a Right to Know What’s in our Food!” This phrase, used by people all over America who are “for” labeling, like those from LabelGMOs.org, portrays their true reasoning as to why they think GE foods need to be labeled. This right has more to do with than just their freedom. It has to do with human health, religious demands and ethical motives as well.

“The cost of labeling involves far more than the paper and ink to print the actual label!” Not everyone in America, like Monsanto, agrees with the labeling and majority of people agree with this phrase dealing with the extra cost of the labeling. These Americans don’t want the right to pay for these labels which they feel will just bring extra worry about the food they are eating, which shouldn’t have any worry because they have been tested and approved by FDA and USDA.

The bottom line is it’s the consumer’s choice on whether they eat GE foods or not. If Americans really want their food labeled, then fight for it in your local and state government!

If it doesn’t matter to you but you don’t want to eat GE foods then simply buy certified organic products!  (USDA Organic Agriculture)

And finally if you don’t care about either the labeling issue or the fact there are GE products in your food, then keep on eating!

Just do your research if you are a concerned consumer and really determine if you would rather have the right to know or the right to pay when it comes to labeling GE foods!

More info
OSU Extension Ohioline
> The Impact on Human Health of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Foods (pdf)

Colorado State Extension> Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods

This blog post was an assignment for  Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

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