As the fight over GMO labeling intensifies, groups like the Corn Refiners Association are misleading American families by claiming they will spend as much as $1,050 more per year on groceries because of the costs associated with GMO labeling laws like Vermont’s, which is scheduled to go into effect July 1. The Corn Refiners Association study cites administrative costs related to separating GMO and non-GMO foods, along with increases in distribution costs, as reasons for the increase. The study also counts the cost of switching a huge portion of ingredients in processed foods to organic or non-GMO—even though Vermont’s law doesn’t have any such requirement.
The facts are quite different. While groups like the Corn Refiners Association—which represents biotech companies like Cargill—have a vested interest in selling more GMOs, a study conducted by an independent consulting firm for the U.K. Food Standards Agency found that GMO labeling would only increase a family’s food costs by $.33 to $5.58 a year. Similarly, a study commissioned by Consumers Union reviewed research on GMO labeling and estimated the annual median cost per person would be $2.30. The truth is, mandatory labeling laws wouldn’t cost you much more than you’re already spending on food, and in exchange, you’d get far more transparency into what you’re eating.
Meanwhile, farmers are already separating GMO and non-GMO crops to prevent cross-contamination in their fields, and U.S. food companies are already labeling their GMO foods overseas in 64 countries that already have GMO labeling laws. In fact, companies like Campbell’s and General Mills have recently announced their plans to label their genetically engineered products in the US, proving that labeling isn’t too hard to manage in their supply chains.
We have a right to know what’s in our food—and that right won’t cost us nearly as much as Big Food companies want you to believe. Let your senator know you want to find out what’s really in your food.