GMOs: The less information the better?
Heeding complaints by the United States, Canada and Argentina, the
Word Trade Organization has agreed to review European Union
restrictions on genetically modified organisms. The fallback position
for the EU is to install a comprehensive labeling system. From a
BBC story on WTO and GMOs:
EU farm ministers agreed last month to move from a blanket ban to
a stringent system of labelling when GM ingredients are used either
in foodstuffs for human consumption or in animal feed.
But the US says that will still discriminate against its farmers, given
the much more widespread use of GMOs in US agriculture. The vast
majority of US soy, for example, is GM.
The US insists that there is no scientific evidence proving damage to
either human health or the environment, and that the EU's "precautionary
principle" goes too far.
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I first heard views of this kind advanced by supermarket managers in
the Northeast who opposed labeling milk produced with artificial bovine growth
hormone. From those peddling the latest applications of science, it's
fascinating to hear arguments that it's unwise giving people a simple
piece of truthful information -- "this product was made with...."
Evidently, ignorance is bliss. We shouldn't bother people with knowledge
we've decided they don't need.
Hey, Europeans, shut up and eat your GM soy flour!