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The Corn Refiners Association has sponsored a new economic analysis that says "American families will spend approximately $1,050 more per year on groceries due to Vermont’s new law requiring on package labels for foods with genetically modified organisms" The study says that "the effect of Vermont’s law would increase food costs for consumers across the country because of the cost of new labeling systems and because consumers will likely view the GMO labels as warnings, leading food companies to switch from GMO ingredients to more expensive non-GMO ingredients. The impact on the national food supply chain from Vermont’s labeling law will be immense."

The report then goes on to say that "Vermont’s labeling law will acutely affect low-income families, who pay a higher share of their income on food and other essentials, according to the study. The increase in food costs would take nearly 2.5 percent of the median income of the poorest fifth of the population ... At a minimum, the Vermont law costs consumers across the country about $3.8 billion, or approximately $50 per family, for label changes. However, costs rise substantially as manufacturers shift to reformulate products to non-GMO."

The Vermont GMO labeling law goes into effect on July 1.
KC's View:
Geez, I feel like I've beaten this dead horse before ... but let me make just a few points.

First, it would actually be newsworthy if the Corn Refiners Association came up with a study that said anything other than this. I mean, give me a break. It isn;t like these guys don;t have a vested interest. I'm not saying they can't be objective, just that it isn't real likely.

Second, they call for national labeling standard ... but best I can tell, that means a voluntary standard, not a national mandate. That's a perfectly legitimate position to take, but that's not what they say. They say "national standard," without being specific. Again, give me a break.

Finally, I would suggest that all these manufacturers don't have to switch to non-GMO ingredients. They could just label them accurately and actually try to educate consumers about what GMO means and why they are important. Of course, most companies don't want to do that ... they'd rather say that GMO labeling will scare people and so let's not do it. On the other hand, if suddenly they discovered that there was an ingredient out there that would make men more handsome, women more beautiful or every kid so smart that he or she could get into Harvard, they'd bust their rear ends to a) include the ingredient in their products, b) label the products as such, and c) do whatever is necessary to educate consumers about why this ingredient is a good thing and why people should buy their product.

But that's not how they view this. It is easier to try to scare the crap out of people about costs.

By the way ... if manufacturer "A" changed the formulation of its products to eliminate GMOs and sales dropped, causing the stock price to go down, you can be damned sure that the executive team would figure out a way to bring prices down and revive sales, because their jobs - and high-value benefits packages - would depend on it.

I say it again. Give me a break.