Benefits of Labeling

Benefits of GMO Food Labeling in Massachusetts
Prepared by: Massachusetts Right to Know GMOs, May 2013.

Economic Benefits of GMO labeling in Massachusetts

• Massachusetts agricultural economy is rapidly evolving into a state of small farms (small-scale on a large-scale) that primarily market directly to local customers. GMO labeling will distinguish MA locally grown products from imported, industrial agricultural products thus benefiting MA farm operations and consumers alike.
• Labeling will increase demand for non-GMO products, creating additional markets and
promoting economic development for MA farms, including those not certified organic and
whose products are non-GMO. Additional markets = additional income.
• Labeling of seeds will economically benefit Massachusetts farmers by allowing them to grow, with security, non-GMO crops. To grow non-GMO crops, seeds must be labeled.
• As the demand for non-GMO food items expand, MA food manufacturers will be able to
contract with MA farmers or farmer co-ops to locally secure the raw materials for non-GMO
food items. Both the food manufactures and the farmers will benefit.
• Managing and working on a small farm in MA is an excellent job experience and teacher of
work ethics for young adults. Labeling will promote small farms which increases the jobs
market and employment opportunities for MA young adults.

Consumer Benefits of GMO labeling in Massachusetts

• GMO labeling will ease the concerns of consumers who strongly believe they have the right to know what their food contains, and restore consumer confidence and transparency to the
American food system.
• In a free market economy, consumers need to be able to make informed, educated choices
about what to buy. GMO labeling will provide consumers with information to make informed
decisions about the food they purchase for personal, religious, moral, cultural, ethical, health,
environmental and economic reasons.
• GMO labeling will give the same rights to MA citizens that citizens in 64 other countries enjoy. 64 nations have either banned or require labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients. The U.S. and Canada are the only two industrial nations that do not require labeling.
• Rather than mislead consumers, labeling will educate consumers and result in greater
consumer choice.
• GMO labeling will clarify the concept of “natural”. GMO foods are not natural but are allowed to be labeled as natural under present regulations.

Scientific Benefits of GMO labeling

•Rather than prevent and discourage health and environmental research of GMO foods and crops, labeling will open research possibilities so that definitive scientific answers can be ascertained. For instance, in order to track the impacts of GMO foods on public health, the foods must be labeled.