Should genetically engineered foods be labeled?
Consumer 1: I think there should be labels on GMO’s, for sure, just so that people know what they’re buying.
Consumer 2: Labeling’s good but it can be a little bit too much sometimes. I want to do right by my family, I want to make good decisions, but, you know, it’s just a little too much sometimes.
Consumer 3: I think it should be labeled. I think people have an absolute right to know what they’re putting in their bodies.
Consumer 4: What’s so different about this food, I mean why do I need all this extra labeling?
Dr. Kleinman: The FDA has said that if the nutritional content of a food produced through biotechnology is identical to a food that’s produced conventionally, there is no need for a label. I agree completely with the FDA. They’ve also said that if there are differences in the nutritional value or content of a food, then it should be labeled and, again, I agree completely with the FDA about this.
Dr. Green: There are so many things that people worry about, and you reach a point where there’s so many labels. The things that would be really important like household products that might cause harm, it gets lost in the shuffle because there’s almost too much information. It’s much more important to label items that might truly cause harm than foods that have been used for 20 years in 29 countries and consumed by millions and millions of people including pregnant women and children over nearly two decades.
Dr. Kleinman: Labeling for me is very important on foods. It helps me understand the nutritional value of the nutrients in the food and it also tells me what nutrients are in the food. If I’m allergic to something, I’d like to know that the food that I’m eating doesn’t contain what I’m allergic to. So there are many uses for that label. If I’m eating a food produced through biotechnology, [if] it’s the same as the conventional food, then there is no information on that label that’s going to be helpful to me.