by Maureen Mahoney
What’s $2.30? It’s less than the cost of a birthday card. It’s about the cost of a tube of toothpaste. And, according to a new study, it’s the median yearly increase per consumer in the price of food if Oregon approves GMO labeling. That’s less than one cent each day!
Consumers Union asked the independent research firm ECONorthwest to study how much Oregon’s GMO labeling ballot initiative, Measure 92, will increase food costs.Their research showed that the increase would be quite small: a median cost of $2.30 per consumer each year. And labeling the presence of GMOs in foods may not cost Oregon consumers anything at all. Companies frequently change labels without passing on the costs to consumers. To learn more, please check out ECONorthwest’s report.
Other, industry-sponsored studies have overstated the costs of GMO labeling to consumers. They’ve suggested that proposed GMO labeling laws in other states will cost consumers about $100-200 each year, or $400-800 for a family with four people. They rely on speculative, unrealistic scenarios in which food companies transition to all-organic ingredients. Ads claiming that farmers and other producers will have to pay “millions” in response to the initiative are also based on speculation and are misleading. Measure 92 only requires that producers label GMO foods.
Consumers Union supports GMO labeling so that consumers can make informed choices at the grocery store. We’re particularly concerned because the federal government currently does not require mandatory human safety assessmentof genetically engineered foods before they are sold. We’re also concerned that increased amounts of herbicides are used in GMO crops. For more information, please take a look at our ad in favor of GMO labeling in Oregon:
Oregon’s initiative is part of a broader movement towards improved food labeling.
More than 60 countries currently mandate GMO labeling. Earlier this year, Vermont approved a GMO labeling measure, and a number of other states are considering labeling legislation. Colorado, like Oregon, has a GMO labeling initiative on the ballot this fall.