In the last post, I talked about how expensive Oregon’s Proposition 92 can be.
In this post, let’s briefly examine why these costs are so high. If you want more information about the general genetically modified food field, put down your email address to the right and download my free ebook that gives all the details.
In the United States, over 90% of corn and soybean crops are now GM.
Because of the high prevalence of GM in the corn and soybean industry, about 70% of US processed foods contain some ingredients from GM plants or products of GM plants.
(Again, for more information about what all this means, download my free ebook and read through the brief explanations. It’s only a few pages long and won’t take too long. After that you’ll be able to quickly understand all the conversations that are happening in this space.)
The Slate published an article by James E. McWilliams that I’ll quote from because he does such a good job at explaining this phenomenon.
A GMO label….means that food producers would have to cleave the food system’s supply chain to segregate and audit GMO and non-GMO ingredients. This would require them to prevent cross-pollination between GMO and non-GMO crops, store GMO and non-GMO ingredients in different locations, establish exclusive cleaning and transportation systems for both commodities, and hire contractors to audit storage facilities, processing plants, and final food products.
The food system’s foundation would tectonically shift to accommodate dual ingredient streams (if not multiple streams). It would have no choice. GMO and non-GMO crops are currently massively mingled. The logistics of crop segregation….terrifies conventional farmers.
This isn’t just large corporations unwilling to take a loss. Conventional, hard-working farmers will go bankrupt if they have to deal with the logistical nightmare that Proposition 92 is proposing.
Those who are for the Proposition argue that because this requirement is adopted by other states in the country, demand for non-GM corn and soybean will increase, which will in turn cause production to increase and prices to decrease.
But just because a few states have unknowingly taken the plunge, we can’t be sure that the demand will increase for sure. There is no analyst that has made that claim with sufficient evidence. All we have are a few ardent supporters coming up with theories.
For example, Vermont passed a law requiring that all genetically modified foods sold in the state must be labeled. Read my post about that. The legislation, which I called the toughest GMO labeling law in the country, goes into effect in 2016. But for the time being, the “toughest GMO labeling law in the country” has a huge loophole. And the loophole was put there intentionally.
It excludes the labeling of milk and cheese.
The state of Vermont argues that milk delivered from a dairy cow that ate genetically modified feed is not GM food. But activist and food retailers such as Whole Foods do believe that is hold be labelled.
Even the state which passed the toughest law in the country doesn’t want to go all the way through with it. That’s because the lawmakers there are aware of the economic setbacks this will cause.
Hopefully the lawmakers of Oregon will have a similar realization soon.