In the last few years, many states have considered legislation to mandate the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. A new publication from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) examines arguments for and against labels, the costs involved with labeling GE foods, and experiences in countries that currently require mandatory labeling. Led by Task Force Chair Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California at Davis, the authors gathered factual information to produce a peer-reviewed publication titled, “The Potential Impacts of Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Engineered Food in the United States.”
Proponents of mandatory GE labeling cite the right to know what is in their food as an important attribute of a democratic society. Opponents think that such a label will increase the cost of food and confuse consumers, with no corresponding improvement in human health or food safety.
The authors conclude that mandatory labeling has potentially negative effects and call for better communication about this issue. They recommend that legislators and consumers be provided with independent, objective information to help move the national discussion from contentious claims to a more fact-based, informed debate.
According to Eenennaam, “The bottom line is, we need better communication regarding the scientific issues and the possible legal and economic consequences of mandatory GE food labels.”
CAST Issue Paper 54 and its companion Ag quickCAST (a summary) are available at no charge on the CAST website, www.cast-science.org/publications, along with many other scientific publications.
NOVEMBER 2016: Editor's Note: Navigating the Thanksgiving Table • Survey: Americans Don’t Know How Much Food They Waste • Everything You Need to Know About Antibiotic Resistance • Q&A: Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance in the Food Supply • Making Sense of Added Sugars Labeling • Tackling a Food Thermometer Is Easy: How To Practice Food Safety While Tailgating
OCTOBER 2016: Editor's Note: Global Perspectives on Food Days • Improving Public Understanding of Antibiotic Resistance • A Colorful History of Food Colors • More About Natural and Artificial Food Colors • Preserving the World's Land from Soil Degradation • Healthy Eating for Two (Infographic) • Maximizing Your Macronutrients During Pregnancy • Make Your Next Taco Truck Trip Muy Bueno • 'Tis a Good Time To Try Tisanes
SEPTEMBER 2016: Editor's Note: Passages • Question About Agriculture? Ask a Farmer on Twitter • Tips for Eating Safely on an International Trip • Bohemian-Style Cuisine in the Heart of Prague • Taking Stock in Fish Markets: Block Island and Seattle • Reducing Food Waste: Creating New Meals with Leftovers • It's Been a Lovely Summer for GMO Safety • Cutting Down on Sodium: 6 Alternatives to Salt • It's Tea Time!: A Guide to the Many Flavors of Tea
AUGUST 2016: Editor's Note: “Weather” or Not To Eat Healthy • “Spiked” Nutrition: Fast & Easy Recipes for Total Health • A New Label Is Brewing • Even on Food Issues, Politics Divides Americans • Eating, Pokémon GO Style • Healthy Eating During Pregnancy • Five Beach-Friendly, Healthy Snacks
JULY 2016: Editor's Note: Eat Up, But Avoid the Pitfalls • How Farmers Conserve Water in a Drought • Alzheimer’s Disease & Mealtime Tips for Caregivers • How GMO Technology Saved the Papaya • Keep the Great Outdoors Great: Reducing Food Waste on a Hike • Simple Safety Tips for Grilling with Dad ... and Anyone Else
JUNE 2016: Editor’s Note: Grill of My Dreams • Your Guide to the Updated Nutrition Facts Label • Future of Food, Part IV: A Farmer with a Vision • Switzerland's Culinary Footprint in the U.S.: A Conversation with Amb. Martin Dahinden • Science Sent: GMOs Are Safe to Eat • The Microbiome: A Mega-Field That’s Just Getting Started
(No May 2016 publication)
APRIL 2016: Editor’s Note: “Marching” Toward Better Health • 3 Tips to “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” This National Nutrition Month • 8 Spices from Around the World • Future of Food, Part II: Serving Up Meat, Over Glass • Tip o’ the Mornin’ to You: Don’t Feel Green on St. Patrick’s Day (or Any Day)
MARCH 2016: Editor’s Note: “Marching” Toward Better Health • 3 Tips to “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” This National Nutrition Month • 8 Spices from Around the World • Future of Food, Part II: Serving Up Meat, Over Glass • Tip o’ the Mornin’ to You: Don’t Feel Green on St. Patrick’s Day (or Any Day)
FEBRUARY 2016: Editor’s Note: Future Foods, Coming to a Plate Near You • Future of Food, Part I: Food Innovations of Tomorrow • Why You Should Check Food Labels for Potential Allergens • Super Confused About Super Foods? An Educated Consumer Is a Healthy Consumer • How Librarians Prevent the “Dunning-Kruger Effect” • Citrus: Great Fruits for Heart Health
JANUARY 2016: Editor’s Note: Gold Medals and Silver Anniversaries • Feeling List-less? Then Check Out This Litany of New Year’s Food Trends • Happy 25th Anniversary, IFIC Foundation!: Serving Up Food Insights • A History of Communication: Insights from IFIC Foundation’s Sylvia Rowe Fellows
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015: Chew on This: A Food Technologist Puts Red and Processed Meat in Perspective • Understanding, Evaluating, and Communicating Nutrition, Part III: Research Funding • Training the Next Generation of Science Communicators, Part II • Achoo!: Food and Other "Prescriptions" for Surviving Cold and Flu Season • When Nutrition Gets Personal: Study Shows New Frontiers in Understanding Glycemic Response
OCTOBER 2015: Orphan Crops • Answering the Challenge of "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life" • Weeding Through the Facts on Herbicide Resistance • Rainy Day in Nashville Fails to Dampen RDs' Spirits • Understanding, Evaluating, and Communicating Nutrition, Part II • Training the Next Generation of Science Communicators, Part I
SEPTEMBER 2015: 4 Clever Food Safety Hacks • Hashtags & Hyperbole • Understanding, Evaluating, and Communicating Nutrition, Part I
SUMMER 2015: What's Your Health Worth?, EXPO Milano 2015, "Single Study Syndrome"
MAY 2015: Future of Food (EXPO Milano), Grilling Tips, Food & Health Survey Webcast
APRIL 2015: Food & Nutrition Lessons from Mom, Microbiome, Flowers & Food Security
MARCH 2015: Chemophobia, Fitness Trackers, Dietary Guidelines 2015
FEBRUARY 2015: Farming Cocoa for Your Valentine’s Day Chocolate, At the Heart of Fats and Oils
DECEMBER 2014/JANUARY 2015: 2015 Food Trends Forecast, Gluten & Health, Life after PHOs
NOVEMBER 2014: A Very Southern Farm Tour, Diabetes Awareness, Turkey Safety for Thanksgiving
OCTOBER 2014: RDNs for Nutrition Expertise, Nutrition Behavior Profiles, Fall Food Days
SEPTEMBER 2014: Food Safety Month, Physical Activity & Obesity, Using Video for Education
AUGUST 2014: Back-to-School Nutrition, Pesticide & Health, Sustainable Nutrition
JULY 2014: Perceptions of Food Technology, Millennial Food Preferences, Introducing the FACTS Network
MAY/JUNE 2014: Food & Health Survey, Produce Safety, Summer Grilling Tips
APRIL 2014: ASN & Processed Food, "Banned Ingredients"
MARCH 2014: Nutrition is in Bloom - Changes to the NFP, Nutrient Adequacy, Trans Fat Q&A