By Gene Hall
I support a GMO product labeling law. Shocked? Well, it’s not THAT one. It’s this one—the Pompeo Bill.
Under its provisions, food sellers may voluntarily label food as GMO-free and gain any market advantage that exists. It also creates a meaningful standard, a certification for those products, under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supervision.
If this sounds like an approach that might work, it already has. Organic certification and labeling under USDA has functioned this way for years. In fact, since organic production itself specifies no GMOs, this is a multilayered labeling system that will make it quite easy to avoid a product that is perfectly safe to start with—if you want to.
The legislation protects companies that choose to label their products as “GMO-free” and allows the rest of agriculture to operate at maximum efficiency, providing an equally safe product at much lower costs.
Most of the anti-GMO crowd would like to do the opposite: impose strict standards and costs for any product that utilizes biotechnology.
Of course, that opposition is not about information, but misinformation.
They want a warning label. The product does not deserve that and it would probably be successfully challenged in court. The Pompeo Bill could get us to a reasonable place where this silly food fight could end.
Interestingly, some who attack organic agriculture dislike this bill as much as the anti-GMO activists. That may be the best evidence of all that the Pompeo bill is very much on the right track.