Through the disaster that is the “Affordable” Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), President Obama has managed to simultaneously increase the nation’s healthcare premiums – and our deductibles as well.Barack Obama was supposed to be the great unifier. We’ve seen how THAT’s worked out. Then he promised affordable healthcare for all. We’ve seen how THAT’s working out.
Well, if you’re having trouble swallowing Obamacare, wait till you hear about Obamafood.For liberals who like to claim the scientific high-ground on issues like climate change, citing unanimous agreement on the issue by climate scientists, they seem unable to apply the same kind of scientific vigor to another issue: genetically modified foods. It’s understandable why people would be skeptical of genetically modified organisms, especially after we’ve seen them demonized as “Frankenfoods.” However, in this case, to paraphrase Al Gore, the science is settled.
Over 2,000 studies have documented that “biotechnology does not pose an unusual threat to human health and genetically modified foods are as safe or safer than conventional or organic foods.” In fact, the largest study on the safety of GMO foods (published in the Journal of Animal Science) looked at 29 years of animal livestock productivity and health data before and after they were fed genetically engineered animal feed, and found that GM feed is not only safe, it’s nutritionally equivalent to the non-GMO feed. The sample size was enormous, representing over 100 billion animals, and trillions of meals.
Despite that, Obama is looking to score some points from the Left, and just signed into law a bill mandating GMO labeling of foods. ABC News reported: A bill that creates a federal labeling standard for foods containing genetically modified ingredients (commonly called GMOs) was signed into law by President Barack Obama today.“This measure will provide new opportunities for consumers to have access to information about their food,” Katie Hill, a White House spokeswoman, told ABC News.
Two weeks ago, Congress passed the legislation which would require food packages to display an electronic code, text label, or some sort of symbol signifying whether or not they contain GMOs, according to The Associated Press. The exact details will need to be worked out by the Department of Agriculture, which will have up to two years to write the rules, The AP reports.
OK – so what’s the big deal? For one – It’ll make food more expensive – for no benefit whatsoever.
Kevin Ryan writes at Unbiased America: Many studies have been done on the issue. Using them, we get an estimated annual cost per family of four of between $100 and $500 per year. It’s incurred through higher food prices and the administrative costs of monitoring and maintaining the mandate. In fact, all of the following statements are supported by a large body of research.
Labeling will impose higher costs on firms producing and selling food. These costs are likely to be passed on to the consumer resulting in higher food prices. Importantly, these costs will be borne by firms and consumers for both GM and non-GM foods as labeling foods as non-GM will require oversight costs. Economic concerns are that mandatory GMO labeling may create trade barriers or distort trade flows across states and countries.It would impose both additional direct costs (e.g., labeling of final product, segregation during production and transportation, certification/testing, and compliance costs) and additional indirect costs (managing GM and non-GM crops to mitigate cross-pollination and increased resistance in non-targeted insects and weeds) as the product moves down the supply chain to the consumer.
The costs of actual labeling are a tiny fraction of the costs of compliance and certification.
The bulk of private costs arise in segregation of products along the supply chain.
Segregation of GMO and non-GMO products would increase costs to firms and increase food prices for consumers. Higher food prices would make consumers worse off, especially low-income consumers.
Who would have thought the country’s first bi-racial president would be in favor of instituting segregation once again?
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]