Here’s what GMO labeling will cost families

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Money flying out of a wallet Get ready to dig deeper into your wallets during grocery checkout if labeling of food containing genetically modified ingredients is made mandatory. In a new study, Cornell University found that in New York a proposed genetically modified organisms (GMO) labeling bill could cost families as much as $800 per year.

The study, completed by Bill Lesser of the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University, evaluates additional costs passed from the industry to consumers if forced labeling is made law in New York State.

The labeling law would increase food costs for a family of four by an average of $500 annually. Of the three labeling compliance options in the state, the midpoint value is $224 or $1.1 billion annually for all New Yorkers.

It’s not only families who will be shelling out more for food. The state could also be facing millions of dollars in added costs to implement and monitor the labeling initiative. It would also account for a loss in farm income.

“American families deserve safe, abundant and affordable food,” Claire Parker, spokeswoman for the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, said in a news statement.  “GMOs have been used in our food supply for more than 20 years and no study has ever shown them to be unsafe or different from foods without GMOs. Repeated studies, however, have shown that the high cost of mandatory labeling would dramatically increase the price of groceries at the checkout aisle for consumers. A mandatory GMO label will just make it more difficult and expensive for hard-working American families to put food on the table.”

Click here to read the full study.

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Keith Long    
KS  |  May, 19, 2014 at 09:35 AM

No studies have shown GMOs to be unsafe? What about these?

Vermont  |  May, 19, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Keith: Try the review of 1,783 studies about GMOs in food, citing no credible instance of a health or safety threat. Review done by Italian (from the EU! no less) scientists. Google it.

May, 19, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Corporate profitability can drive scientific research even in the EU.

May, 19, 2014 at 02:11 PM

Uncounted costs far outweigh the counted ones:

May, 19, 2014 at 02:25 PM

Watch Robyn O'Brien's TEDx talk here:

May, 19, 2014 at 05:16 PM

Even 1 study showing harm is too many. 1783 'safe' studies do not trump 10 'unsafe' ones IMHO. You are free to eat GMO foods, I try to avoid them and it would be easier if I knew which was which.

Dick W    
Ohio  |  May, 19, 2014 at 09:56 PM

Label the non GMO foods only. That way those who choose this are the ones paying for it

Dennis Hoyle    
South Dakota  |  May, 19, 2014 at 10:40 PM

I quit producing GMO crops and I would like to quit eating them. I listened to Dr. Huber and what he said made sense. We label everything else why can't we label food?

ar  |  May, 20, 2014 at 07:12 AM

There are a ton of studies which have been suppressed, coming forward now. Deaths have been attributed directly to GMO's IN AMERICA. Herd os milk cows have been damaged beyond recovery. Roundup is being found in mothers milk. (Yup, you feed it directly to your children now. And all the bunk that you have been fed by people hired to infest these blogs and write pro-chemical company nonsense is finally being seen through. Time for this plague to stop!

Minnesota Farmer    
Minnesota  |  May, 20, 2014 at 08:30 AM

Check out It is amazing how few dollars are "paying" for those supposedly biased studies. Turns out independent research really is independent.

Minnesota Farmer    
Minnesota  |  May, 20, 2014 at 08:37 AM

It is amazing how conspiracy theorists are always waiting for the "tons" of suppressed studies to come forward. Those deaths from GMO's never happened, no milk cow herds were damaged and there has never been any glyphosate (Roundup) found in mothers milk. Oh yeah, and those supposed people hired to "infest these blogs" are just ordinary people who understand the science and are not sucked in by shoddy, alarmist reporting.

May, 20, 2014 at 09:12 AM

Jo: The vast majority of those studies are short term 90 day studies at their longest and are influenced, many times fully funded by the industries responsible for the product. Quantity is not quality. And I thought that this would go without saying, but just because some Italian scientists say something, does not mean that it speaks for the whole of the EU.

Vermont  |  May, 20, 2014 at 12:54 PM

The 1,783 studies were a mixed group of studies. I take issue with the use of the term "vast majority." Where's a review of those same studies that would say otherwise? I point out the Italian source to show there are some voices of reason in the EU.

ar  |  May, 20, 2014 at 01:29 PM

Or you can Google "Deaths caused by GMO's in America" You'll get an education. GMO's are NOT safe.

ar  |  May, 20, 2014 at 01:30 PM

We should make everyone that doesn't smoke responsible for paying to have things labeled that cause cancer. After all, they are the ones that don't want it! Great logic, huh?

Vermont  |  May, 21, 2014 at 08:47 AM

Right, because everything on the Internet is true.

Vermont  |  May, 21, 2014 at 08:47 AM

Right, because everything on the Internet is true.

Vermont  |  May, 21, 2014 at 01:21 PM

93% of Americans support GMO labeling. In 2014, more than 84 bills have been introduced in 29 states requiring GMO labeling or prohibiting genetically engineered foods. Most of the world has studied this issue and concluded that GMOs are not worth the risk. 26 countries have banned GMO's including Switzerland,Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Russia . Now its time for Kraft, Monsanto, DuPont, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association to get out of the way and allow the American consumer to have the same rights to GMO labeling and food transparency as - 64 other countries do today. And stop the fear mongering about cost.

SD  |  May, 21, 2014 at 02:54 PM

Can any of you who champion labelling of GMO influenced products tell us how you determine the source of Roundup in testing, whether it is food crops, or traces found in human breast milk? I see large amounts of Roundup products for sale even in my very small town (less than 100 people). There is absolutely NO requirement of training for people using such chemicals in yards, so no one can really know where the exposure originates, can they?

ohio  |  May, 22, 2014 at 06:10 PM

That is easy. Anything containing corn, soy, cannola, or beet sugar is almost certain to contain GMO content. All meats,eggs, and dairy and farmed fish are most likly fed GMO corn and soy products. If you want GMO free foods then buy Certified organic. Done. This is all anyone needs to know. But that will not stop the luddites.

RF Hollis    
NJ  |  May, 27, 2014 at 10:23 AM

1500 GMO studies & its adverse effects:

RF Hollis    
May, 27, 2014 at 10:39 AM

It appears that this Cornell study is based on consumers buying only organic products if a GMO labelling bill is passed. Not valid because most will still choose cheapest product. Cornell University has lost credibility on this one.

RF Hollis    
NJ  |  May, 27, 2014 at 10:58 AM

What's wrong with an informed consumer? Its all about transparency. We are what we eat and we want to know all the whats, whys, and hows about our food. As far as safety; who knows? The jury is still out on this one and the only human study currently being done is the one that is forced on us by the addition of more and more GM food. Here are 1500 GMO studies & its adverse effects:

May, 27, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Too bad the reporter didn't check her facts. This is NOT a "Cornell study"!!! It was fully funded by a industry lobby group called the Council for Biotechnology Information, whose members include Monsanto, Sygenta, DuPont, DowAgro, Bayer CropLife, and BASF. They paid William Lesser, an economist teaching at Cornell, to conduct this analysis. Calling it a Cornell study is misleading and infers on the study an academic imprimatur it did not earn. Furthermore, the analysis is hampered by its incredible assumptions, particularly the founding assumption, which is that food manufacturers will offer twinned versions of all of its products -- a non-GM variety that would avoid a label, and a GM variety that would get a label. This is just ridiculous. Did General Mills offer two version of original Cheerios when it switched to GM-free ingredients earlier this year? NO. Will the manufacturers of the 21,000-25,000 products Lesser claims will be affected by a labeling law (another bad assumption, btw) opt to double their products? No. This is an example of a classic "garbage in, garbage out" study.

Edward Davis    
Minnesota  |  June, 11, 2014 at 09:13 AM

Good points about study design flaws and industry funding not elucidating the negative impacts of GMOs. Ninety days is not enough to show all the negative (or positive) impacts of substances. The point of having GMO food for 20 years without health issues reminds me of the tobacco industry during the early days of the campaign to show the negative impacts of smoking. The human body is amazing at enduring unhealthy inputs. Most important, is the study ignores the impacts of industrial, GMO farming on the environment and humanity. At the most basic level is the extreme energy dependence and soil stripping of the mono-cultural crop system. In addition, the goal to feed the world without STRONGLY addressing the root cause of hunger, overpopulation, is fundamentally flawed. Norman Borlaug efforts to save and increase wheat production to feed the world in the 1930's did not end hunger. There were about 2 billion people in 1930 and it is now about 7 billion. Feed the world policy is not addressing world hunger. I find it interesting that the comment period for a Pesticide Information Profile was one month. See at the bottom. Seems short.

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