Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Right to Know, An Invitation to Know Less

Why is labeling GMOs a bad idea?  Here's why!  It actually makes us less informed.

Labels can be used deceptively to imply danger where none exists, forcing competitors to play defense against false notions. 

The creator of this sign at a local Ace Hardware (thanks Dr. Dave Clark!) states clearly that their herb and veggie starts are "NON-GMO".  This implies that there are herb and veggie starts that are GMO, when there are not.

I like, "remineralized with 70 trace minerals"... I'm guessing that 65 of these trace minerals are more toxic than any pesticide, herbicide, fungicide, or certainly a transgene!

And "open pollinated" ensures that you have no guarantee of the genetic integrity of the "heirloom" you are purchasing- so it is not necessarily an heirloom.

Chances are that these plants are the typical garden tomato, pepper, cucumber starts sold everywhere. They are not GMO, they never have been GMO. It is really slow planting a corn or soy field one seed at a time. 

The point is that here's someone looking to gain market share by creating the illusion that their product has greater value, less risk, and "No Poison of Any Kind Period".  To the unsophisticated gardener, they might opt for this alternative over other unlabeled, yet comparable products. 

It is deceptive marketing. It says that the competition presents risk not found in their products, but that just not accurate.

Again, are they ignorant or deceptive?  Do they just not know that there are no GMO garden plants, or do they know that and make the implication because they see a way to steer purchases? 

This is the danger of the label.  The comparable products are not transgenic, and even if they were there's no risk above any other plant.  The label is used to make false assertions about a perfectly fine product, in this case, one that is not even GMO.  It spreads a false notion that there are GM garden plants.

Therefore, the label actually makes us less informed.