Beth Skwarecki at Lifehacker – GMO Labels Won’t Make Your Food Safer:
Concerns like Hirshberg’s about pesticides demonstrate why GMO labeling is useless. It won’t even do what the people campaigning for labels want it to do. As we’ve mentioned before, the things people don’t like about GMOs are not GMO-specific problems. Here are some things labeling won’t help with:
- It won’t help you avoid pesticides. Both the insecticidal Bt toxin and the herbicidal Roundup chemical, glyphosate, are used in both GMO and non-GMO crops.
- It won’t eliminate superweeds, since this ecological problem is not GMO-specific either. (Non-GMO sunflower oil is another big creator of superweeds, by the way)
- It won’t keep unpredictable mutations out of crops’ DNA, because mutation breeding introduces more DNA damage than any “GMO” technology, and nobody’s labeling that.
- It won’t prevent allergies, or make allergies easier to track down. GMOs are already tested for similarities to common allergens before they can be approved. If you do have an allergic reaction to an unusual protein in a particular crop, a “partially produced with genetic engineering” label doesn’t do anything to help track down which ingredient is at fault.