My Generation
The Friday Five: GMO Labeling Edition

The Friday Five: GMO Labeling Edition

GMOs, the labels, the costs, the fear train and more: here are five {very specific GMO labeling} links to catch you up on food and agriculture this week.

Hey, guess what I'm writing about these days?! Three guesses, and the first two don't count. But here are five great reads on the GMO labeling debate.

The Price of Your Right to Know: This piece from Slate.com, by .a Texas State University professor and food author, takes a look at the real cost of labeling GM foods. In the end, he believes a federal label would be useful and that costs will hinge on how the public reacts to that label. He analyzes arguments from both sides, and he talked to farmers. This one's worth the read.

The Right to Know What I'm Eating: A philosopher's take on what the right to know really means, and its moral implications. "When it comes to debates over the right to a specific piece of information about what we’re eating, we need to think seriously about whether a) that bit of information is central to protecting an individual’s interests, b) whether those interests are ones that we can agree, socially, are in need of protecting, and c) whether recognizing such a right would impose undue burdens on others."

The GMO Fear Train Has Left the Station: The Discover magazine piece takes a look at the GM labeling campaigns that have been less about "right to know" and driven instead by health fears with no scientific basis. This piece take a broad view of how the conversation has evolved among influential thought leaders.

Want to Know if Your Food is Genetically Modified? Take a deep breath before diving into this piece from The Atlantic. It's long. But it's worth it, to get a look at what the world beyond agriculture is saying about GM food. It closes with this line: "The fight to label GM foods may not have science on its side, but in the political arena, it is quickly gaining ground."

The First GMO Field Tests: Another long piece, this one from Modern Farmer, and again, full of rich details on the history of genetic modification, and full of provocative questions about our questions: "Perhaps these small movements will give way to a more interesting conversation… Wherever the conversation leads, how will we look back on today’s agricultural debates in 30 years? Which of our talking points will still be in rotation and which will be relics like the Tyvek suits and respirators of Tulelake?"

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