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A Farmer Talks About the Burdensome Costs of GMO Labeling

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Schmidt, Maryland Farmer and Registered Dietitian, has a wonderful blog titled the The Foodie Farmer Blog, which regularly engages readers in robust conversations about food and farming. A post from Schmidt titled The Costs of GMO Labeling was recently posted to our GMO Answers site as she provides a great pictorial analysis of the food supply chain – from her farm gate to storage – and the cost implications of labeling GMOs on this supply chain.
“If GMO labeling were to pass, that would require a huge addition to both on- and off-farm storage…

“Segregation is costly. We do it because we get paid a premium for ensuring that the specialty grains and seeds we grow are ‘identity preserved,’ very much as with the certified organic process, involving higher management, higher tracking and systems in place to ensure that the grains and seeds are genetically consistent and true to their traits of highest quality, meaning they are uniform in size, shape and color, and free of weed seed and contamination…

“I can't even begin the fathom the costs of segregating all along the entire food supply chain, keeping GMO corn, soybean or canola ingredients segregated by trait, from conventional counterparts from the farm to the processor to the manufacturer.”

Schmidt also does a cost analysis using the data from the USDA Crop Production 2013 Summary which can be seen in its entirety in her blog post.

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Wanting to know more about the costs of GMO labeling? BIO’s Karen Batra did a blog piece highlighting a recent report published by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) titled “The Potential Impacts of Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Engineered Food in the United States”. In her piece, Scientific Community Weighs in on GMO Labeling, Batra notes the key arguments from the report which lay out several costs, not only economical, if GMO labeling were made mandatory.