Resolution: Physicians for Social Responsibility supports mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods (GMOs). We believe consumers have the right to know what’s in their food and make informed decisions about what they eat.
Supporting reasons: Why should the public have this right to know?
- Consumers want to know. Virtually every poll taken on the subject has found that 90% or more of consumers said they want GMO food to be labeled.[i] More than 600 organizations and businesses also endorse labeling, including such varied groups as the American Nurses Association, Ben & Jerry’s, Consumers Union, Family Farm Defenders, Friends of the Earth, Health Care Without Harm and Union of Concerned Scientists.[ii]
- Consumers want fewer pesticides. GMO use, especially on soybeans, has led to “superweeds” and increased use of pesticides.[iii]
- GMO crops have contaminated the crops of organic and conventional non-GMO crops, causing serious financial losses to farmers.[iv]
- There is no consensus that GMO foods are safe for human health or the environment, especially regarding risks due to toxicity and allergenicity.[v]
- The FDA doesn’t conduct safety testing on GMO crops and doesn’t require independent testing. The only testing done is by the same biotech corporations that develop the crops. Moreover, these corporations severely restrict scientists from conducting independent health or environmental safety research, making it extremely difficult to get unbiased investigation.[vi]
- Although the food industry claims labeling would significantly increase costs, independent research shows little to no price increases for consumers.[vii]
- There are already 64 countries around the world that require labeling of GMO food, including all European Union nations, Australia, Japan, Russia and Brazil.[viii] Americans deserve the same opportunity to make informed decisions as citizens of these other nations.
[ii] Just Label It
[iii] Benbrook, Charles, “Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. – the first sixteen years.”
[iv] Reuters, “U.S. organic food industry fears GMO contamination,” March 12, 2008
[v] European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility, “Statement: No scientific consensus on GMO safety,” Oct. 21, 2013
[vi] Union of Concerned Scientists, “Suppressing Research.”
[vii] Shepherd-Bailey, Joanna M., “Economic Assessment.” and Jaeger, W.K., “Economic Issues and Oregon Ballot Measure Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods”
[viii] Center for Food Safety, “Genetically Engineered Food: The Labeling Debate.”