Bioethics Blogs

Label Non-GMO Food Products

I have previously written about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), concluded that their consumption is safe and that labelling them is not a good idea. I am writing about them again and you might wonder why. Nothing has changed really. The scientific evidence of their safety remains strong and more accumulated experience of consumption by both humans and domestic animal supports this conclusion. Nothing has really changed. There remains an entrenched opposition to the use of genetically modified organisms. This opposition remains opposed to their consumption despite being unable to find scientific evidence to support their claims. Some have even resorted to making up scientific evidence that GMOs are harmful. There has been an ongoing movement to require that foods which contain GMO derived ingredients be labelled as such defended by the always compelling “people have a right to know” argument. So why am I writing about GMOs again. It is because prominent bioethicist Arthur Caplan has now indicated his support for labelling products containing GMO derived ingredients. 

 His argument is not based on safety. He believes GMO foods should be labelled because “ It is clear that some consumers want to know what they are eating and have a right to know what is in their food.” I strongly disagree. Not really about the right to know what is in their food. I disagree because labelling food because it is GMO derived is completely inconsistent with current practice and to bring that current practice up to the standards aspired for GMO food is more or less impossible.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.