June 20, 2014
-- In the continued struggle over “GM” (genetically modified) food supremacy in the United States, a recent victory has been obtained by anti-GM activists. The state of Vermont has recently announced that they will be requiring identification labels on all GM products that find their way into the hands of consumers. While it may seem odd that such a mandate would provoke controversy, GM food producers are outraged over the decision and are claiming that such labelling will only further the stigma placed upon foods that, in their opinions, are helping the world carve itself out of a looming food crises.
Central to the GM food debate are issues of commercial dominance and future health risks. Little is known as to what the potential implications of long-term exposure to GM food products may be. Although it is obvious that such “engineering”
is improving the robustness of these food products, some believe that this “intrusion”
into the internal mechanics of the food in question could result in catastrophic harm to the human body and the ecosystem at large. Additionally, private farming advocates are claiming that the commercial ownership of the GM seed and the potential for financially damaging consequences when such seed strays into the soil of private farmers is putting smaller operations out of business.
The court system in Vermont has now stated that any foods using genetically-
modified ingredients must make this fact clear on the label. Labelservice, a UK-based labelling company that collaborates with a large number of food manufacturers, has responded to the issue, fully endorsing Vermont's decision and the championing of transparency on the state level.
When asked to respond to both the decision and his company's endorsement of it, Labelservice's managing director Gary Lovell stated, ““As we said in our release about the Halal killing of animals, we promote 100% transparency of information on labels, particularly food labels. Genetically-
modified foods falls under this category, and we would like to see similar action taken in the U.K. Such labelling would cost certain company’s a degree of revenue, though this is the price of honesty.”
Interestingly, the issues concerning GM food products are almost uniquely American. Very few countries have allowed these products to be marketed to consumers, and even fewer have allowed them to claim such a significant stake of the food production industry. This could be due to a variety of issues, including the fact that the majority of GM products are manufactured in the United States.
Labelservice offers a variety of labelling products and services to companies in the U.K.