Fight GMO labelling
Fight GMO labelling
By Assemblyman Bill Nojay
In a recent op-ed for this paper, my colleague Assemblyman Jeffery Dinowitz touted the work of the Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee for passing a bill that would force the labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients, known as GMOs.
As a member of the committee, I voted against this bill because it is not in the best interests of New York’s consumers. The anti-GMO movement contends GMO foods must be identified because “consumers have the right to know,” or they are somehow dangerous, despite over 1,000 independent studies in the U.S. and Europe saying there is no harm at all and that they are nutritionally identical to non-GMO foods.
The Obama administration’s Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly ruled that there is no need to label foods with GMO ingredients. Organizations like the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association have studied the issue, deemed GMO foods completely safe and concluded that no health benefits would result from mandatory labeling.
Aside from not being needed, this legislation could be detrimental to New York’s family farms and the environment. Modern foods using genetically modified ingredients are “green.” Genetic engineering of crops means our farmers can save money while growing healthier foods for consumers, using less water, reducing pesticide and herbicide use, and even reducing carbon emissions.
Requiring labeling of GMO products will also cost New York families when they shop at the supermarket. The proposed legislation would require up to half of all food items sold in New York State to receive the new labeling. According to a study completed last year at Cornell University, if mandatory labeling were to become law in New York, the cost of food for a family of four would increase by an average of $500 annually. That’s like an additional tax of $500 on every family in New York State.