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GE Labeling Won’t Increase Food Prices

GE Labeling Won’t Increase Food Prices

Contrary to the claims of food industry giants and biotechnology companies, requiring labels on genetically engineered food won’t drive up food prices. Labeling would not ban the technology or force farmers and manufacturers to switch to non-GE ingredients; it would simply require that food containing GE ingredients be labeled, so that consumers can make informed decisions about what they want to eat.

Food companies change labels all the time as part of their innovation cycle or to meet consumer demand, and they would have ample time to comply with mandatory GE labeling without affecting products already on store shelves.

Check out the infographic to see why GE labeling won’t cost you a thing.

Here’s a rundown of studies that have analyzed the costs associated with GE labeling and shown how minimal they truly are:

Independent Study: Why Label Changes Don’t Affect Food Prices
By Kai Robertson, independent consultant
Just Label It
This study, commissioned by the Just Label It campaign, found no evidence that requiring food manufacturers to label GE products would result in higher food prices.

GE Foods Labeling Cost Study Findings
By Dr. Andrew Dyke and Robert Whelan, ECONorthwest
Consumers Union
Study conducted by the economic consulting firm ECONorthwest found that requiring GE food labels would cost a mere $2.30 per person per year, or less than a penny a day.

Economic Assessment: Proposed California Right-to-Know Genetically Engineered Food Act (Prop 37)
By Joanna M. Shepherd-Bailey, Ph.D., Emory University School of Law
Shepherd-Bailey’s assessment of potential costs associated with California’s failed Proposition 37 to require GE food labeling found little or no change in consumer food prices as a result of labeling.

Economic Assessment of Washington Initiative 522
By Joanna M. Shepherd-Bailey, Ph.D., Emory University School of Law
Shepherd-Bailey’s assessment of potential costs associated with Washington state’s Initiative 522 to label GE food, which also lost following a massive industry advertising campaign, similarly predicted no change in consumer food prices as a result of labeling.

Critique of Professor William Lesser’s “Costs of Labeling Genetically Modified Food Products in N.Y. State”
By Michael Hansen, senior staff scientist
Consumers Union
Hansen finds that Lesser’s industry-funded study, which predicted a surge in food prices as a result of GE labeling, relied on faulty assumptions about consumer behavior and product reformulation. 

Proposal for a Regulation on GM Food and Feed
By David Byrne, former European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection
In his 2001 report, Byrne wrote that, “When the current labeling regime was introduced in 1997, it did not result in increased costs, despite the horrifying (double-digit) prediction of some interests.”

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