GMO Label Law Sparks Criticism in the US
Food safety groups say that a new law on labels for genetically modified ingredients will allow manufacturers to provide vague product information, The Al Jazeera reported.
President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law in August, which prompted critics to voice their concerns over the impact of this law on the advancement of clear information on food and beverage labels. A nationwide poll revealed that 90% of surveyed Americans want clear labeling on products.
Opponents of the GMO label law argue that such ingredients have purported negative effects on consumer health. Environmentalists also slammed the new law in saying that pesticides are used in relation to genetically modified products.
The new law allows food manufacturers to provide information on a product’s GMO content through a Quick Response code. Consumers need to extract the data from these codes using a smartphone or any other applicable device scanner.
While the process may seem modern, it discriminates against consumers belonging to low-income households and the elderly population, according to Davin Hutchins of the Greenpeace International’s Food For Life Campaign.
Hutchins said people from these demographics don’t always possess the required knowledge and resources to access such information from QR codes. Furthermore, the law failed to cover a broad definition of GMOs, as it only referred to “bioengineered” products.
But food producers say the law helps in providing farmers with all the necessary agricultural solutions. Agrochemical company Monsanto supported the law based on its provision of certainty to farmers in terms of food production, marketing and sales.
Packaging and Labels
Amid the outcry for the GMO label law in the U.S., the packaging industry worldwide has grown in recent years. The increase in packaging container sales and printing technologies have helped boost the growth of industry
Transparency Market Research said that the global packaging industry would grow at a CAGR above 4% between 2016 and 2024, as it becomes more in demand within the healthcare, food, beverage, and cosmetics businesses among others.