Report: Food labeling policies come with unintended costs

5 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
By: Nora Faris, KOMU 8 Reporter & Elise Brisco, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - "Organic" and "non-GMO"—these food labels adorn all kinds of products, from breakfast cereal to snack food. And according to an MU study, those labels are costing consumers more than they might know.

According to the study, non-genetically modified (non-GM) food products can cost between 10 and 62 percent more than corresponding foods containing GM ingredients.

The study adds that for some products, like ice cream, the price difference between non-GM and GM options is small: about 10 percent. But non-GM cooking and salad oils cost 60 percent more than GM oils, and non-GM breakfast cereals have a price premium of 26 percent over cereals with GM ingredients. These latest estimates of GM/non-GM cost differences are at least 10 times higher than other previous studies of the impacts of mandatory GM labeling.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently finalizing rules and a roll-out for mandatory GM labeling, a policy that was adopted by the U.S. two years ago. Although the mandatory labeling rule was passed into law, it has yet to be fully implemented, so the outlook for food producers and consumers is still a bit unclear. 

GM food labeling laws were adopted largely due to consumer fears over potential health concerns stemming from GM crops. GMO products have been on the market for over 20 years. Groups like the American Medical Association, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the World Health Organization have said that no strong scientific evidence has ever shown a relationship between GM products and adverse health effects.

"The law requires companies to disclose the GMO content of their products," said Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, an MU professor of agricultural economics and author of the cost-analysis study."So the question is, will companies choose to use GM labels, or will they try to avoid GM labels and the consumer stigma by using non-GM ingredients?"

Faced with mandatory labeling laws, some companies, like Kalaitzandonakes mentioned, are reformulating their products to avoid placing a GM label on their products. And although GM foods have not been found to affect human health, the GM labeling laws could significantly affect consumers' financial health. Non-GM ingredient sourcing can be more expensive for companies, which pass on that price increase to consumers, who pay an added premium for non-GM products.

According to Feeding America, a hunger relief and advocacy organization, the average price of a meal in Missouri is $3.05. For the nearly one in five people in Boone County already facing food insecurity, the additional costs of GM labeling—although maybe only adding up to a few dollars on each grocery bill—could mean a few more skipped meals a week.

The USDA is set to release implementation plans for mandatory GM labeling this summer. Food manufacturers' potential decisions to reformulate their products to avoid consumer stigma surrounding GMOs could lead to further price increases for consumers.  

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Hundreds of people gathered for the grand opening of CenterPointe Hospital on International Drive Thursday. Governor Mike... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:42:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The influence of lower prices and convenience are affecting the way millennials approach primary care, according to... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:38:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU honored Dr. George Smith, the first Nobel Prize winner in university history, with a reserved space to... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:30:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - Police arrested a man Wednesday after a search warrant led to finding five gallon-sized bags of marijuana. ... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:08:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - State House of Representative candidates talked public transportation and education, amongst other things, at a disability issues forum... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 2:00:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Officers have arrested one man after a home invasion Wednesday night, but are still looking for a second... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 1:58:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Jurors on Thursday began deliberating the case of two Kansas water park maintenance workers accused... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 12:39:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a man who was in a wheelchair has been found dead in a... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:52:34 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a St. Louis police officer has shot and wounded a suspect during a struggle... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:48:28 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say it appears that a man was killed after his car fell on top... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:35:41 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The former head of USA Gymnastics has been accused of removing documents linked to the Larry Nassar sexual... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 8:56:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - A 78-year-old Fenton man drowned Wednesday afternoon at Lake of the Ozarks. The incident... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 7:39:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Centerpointe Hospital is opening a new location on International Drive in Columbia. The Tennessee-based company has one... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:55:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Facebook has set up a "war room" at its California headquarters as part of its plans to avoid... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:32:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - November candidates want to earn your vote by discussing disability-related issues on Thursday. The City of Columbia... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:49:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - The man killed in a helicopter crash east of Fulton on Wednesday has been identified as Charles... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 8:14:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
GASCONADE COUNTY - A school in Gasconade County went on lockdown on Wednesday after a juvenile threatened to self-harm nearby,... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 7:39:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council approved a request on Monday to change the zoning of nearly 50 properties in... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 6:33:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 63°
5pm 60°
6pm 57°
7pm 54°
8pm 51°