One argument used to resist genetically modified organism/genetically engineered (GMO/GE) labeling sounds an awful lot like nanny-state thinking: “We must not allow labeling of GMOs because, given a choice, people would make the wrong choice.”
Poor silly foolish misguided consumers!
Are we lucky to have giant corporations and the government making the right choices for us, since we are incapable of deciding for ourselves?
Sorry, but I just don’t have that much faith in corporations or the government.
I would rather make my own choices. So would 87 percent of Americans polled.
On Feb. 15 the New York Times published a column calling for GMO labeling, citing the above poll.
A week later, Forbes published a column insisting that we must not have GMO labeling. Why? Because then people would avoid such products.
Take a moment to absorb that interesting proposition, from a magazine which is supposed to be about business and economics. Not merely economics, but free market economics.
Can there be a “free market” when consumers are denied the right to make their own choices?
Can there be a “free market” when taxpayer subsidies are used to shore up a product which consumers don’t want to buy?
GMO crops would have no place in an agriculture economy based on sound, free-market principles. As in, cost of production should not exceed market-value of end-product.
Fact: GMO crops cost more to grow than they are worth in the market.
American taxpayers make up the difference, through farm subsidies, most of which are issued to recipients beloved by corporate ag. (Only a tiny percentage of subsidies are paid to organic farmers, one reason why organic costs more.)
Currently, the commodity-crop system is rigged to push the more expensive (more profitable) GMO seeds. And since many GMO crops are designed to encourage increased use of herbicide, GMOs also generate more profit for herbicide sellers (often the same company that sells the seeds).
And that, ladies and gents, is the reason GMOs are being pushed down our unwilling throats.
Everything else (“feeding the world,” “higher yields,” etc) is just smoke and mirrors, created via bazillion-dollar PR campaigns that harken back to the days when Big Tobacco spent umpteen millions to poo-poo the possibility of any link between smoking and cancer.
The rigged commodity-crop system has existed for generations, originally created to channel agriculture profits away from farmers and into the pockets of middle-men and Wall Street.
Today, with the system pushing GMOs, biotech and petrochemical industries are the big winners. Farmers, consumers and the whole concept of free enterprise continue to be the losers.
It’s not just here in America that GMO crops cost more to grow than they are worth.
In much of the developed-world, they are worth nothing. Many developed nations bar growing or import of GMO crops. (Farmers in California’s Imperial Valley are so afraid of losing their overseas market that they have begged Monsanto to keep GE alfalfa out of their region.)
So, how-what-when-where-why would anyone grow GMO crops, if they really cost more to produce than they are worth?
Remember: Taxpayers make up the difference.
In short, GMO crops are welfare crops.
In a true free market, we’d be growing crops that have higher value, higher consumer demand. That means non-GMO and organic. Don’t take my word for it. Search the internet on keywords non-GMO premiums and see for yourself.
High premiums (10 to 20 percent above Chicago Board of Trade) are paid for non-GMOs (even when they are non-organic). And prices paid for organic soy and corn are often twice (or more) what is paid for GMO soy and corn. Why? Because these are products that consumers value the most.
If corporate agriculture were not rigged to be so anti-free-market, no one would plant GMOs.
Eighty-seven percent of consumers polled reject the Nanny-State approach.
Eighty-seven percent want GMOs to be labeled.
Eighty-seven percent want the right to choose.
If that leads to the collapse of the artificially-shored-up, taxpayer-subsidy-reliant GMO industry, so be it.
The free market will have spoken.
Copyright: arcticle: Deb Baumann, Lake County News