On GMO Labeling

I don’t have a strong opinion as to whether GMO foods are dangerous or not.  In fact, I think the question is wrong – it seems most likely that some modifications could be harmful while others could be harmless.  I’m fairly certain that BT sprayed on an apple tree in the spring is not harmful to humans, but I’m not certain that BT-toxin expressed by the apple and present in the eaten food is harmless to humans.  For some modifications it might be that both ‘conventional’ pesticides and GMO-expressed pesticides are both harmful, one may be more harmful than the other, or that organic is the only safe way to go.  But not eating vegetables because of the price of organic may be worse.  Science should inform this, but it seems to be incomplete at this time.

The separate issue of labelling has important consequences.  In the US, a Natural Rights Republic, the issue of Free Speech is a very important one.  It’s incredibly dangerous to tread on it for some perceived short-term benefit.  For that reason I’m glad the California proposition to mandate labelling failed (whether it really did or not is a separate issue). Compelled speech is one of the worst kinds of free speech infringements.

But the root of the problem lies not in compelled speech, but restrictions on free speech imposed by the FDA.  It forbids companies from putting “GMO Free” on their products, so voluntary labelling can’t happen. They told Polaner (All Fruit maker) that they couldn’t put “GMO Free” on their strawberry spread because a strawberry is produce, “not an organism”. They told Spectrum (oils refiner) that their No-GMO label would imply that there is something wrong with GMO’s so they couldn’t use it.

I’d like to have more information on the foods I buy at the store.  It’s clear that ‘the market’ wants to provide it.  Freedom of speech isn’t just a good idea, it’s the Supreme Law.  It’s time the FDA stopped breaking it.