Pros And Cons: Mandatory Labeling Of Genetically Modified Food?

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Mandatory labeling of Genetically Modified food (GM) also known as Genetically engineered (GE) or Genetically Modified organisms (GMO’s) has become controversial and a debatable topic in our society. Today, more than 170 million acres plants varieties of GM crops and the US still remain as the largest producers harvesting about 43% of total GM crops (Hallman et. al, 2013). Lessick et al., 2002 stated that about 60% of processed foods sold in US supermarkets contain a GM ingredient.

Proponents and Opponents of GM foods have spent thousands of dollar to influence consumers. The support from the consumers is vital because their perception towards GM food determines the market. A genetically Modified food have benefits but they come with costs. GM foods could make plants more resistible with pests and herbs; increases crop yield can have balanced nutritional ingredients, often cheaper to consume. Lewis (2004), Paterson (2003) and Wall (2004) writes genetic improvements allow producers to potentially lower prices, increase the quality of meat and milk products, and possibly increase resistance to diseases.

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However, the opponents believe that the mandatory labeling has “dynamic effects” at firm- level decision-making. A company may incur a substituting cost that arises from a switch to non-GE ingredients and eventually adds costs on the end products for consumers and producers (Costanigro and Lusk, 2014). The opposition further argues that the GM labeling may start a signaling effect but this can be just an opinion of the interested party because empirical research is yet to be done. Previous empirical researches have concluded GM labeling as an” identifier” which is used by consumers to select the product they most prefer, given labeling costs and relative prices (Costanigro and Lusk,

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