Mandatory GMO Disclosure Doesn’t Sway Shopping Habits (But Will Drive Up Costs)

“Beginning this year, federal food-labeling laws require products made with genetically modified ingredients to carry a label saying they are “bioengineered.” But short of requiring extra work and costs for food makers and manufacturers, the law is likely to lead to little change.

Research suggests that consumers won’t alter their behavior based on mandatory disclosure of genetically modified organism (GMO) food products.

“In the presence of existing voluntary non-GMO labels, mandatory labeling did not have any additional effect on demand,” wrote researchers from Cornell University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a November 2021 paper. “Our findings suggest that voluntary non-GMO labels may already provide an efficient disclosure mechanism without mandatory GMO labels.””

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