Should food companies be required to label genetically modified food? The debate is highly contentious and it is anything but settled, according to a special section in today’s Wall Street Journal. The debate on GMOs is the lead article in today’s special section on several crucial food issues, including taxes on soda, the impact of feedlot beef on the environment, the global future of organic food, how big food firms can compete against fresher rivals, the health issues related to “food desserts” and the ethics of eating foie gras.
Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, and Dr. Nina Federoff, Pugh professor emerita at Penn State University, square off over mandatory GMO labels. Consumer advocates are pushing for mandatory GMO labels while U.S. states have taken different approaches to the requirement.
Consumer advocates say GMOs carry risks while providing few nutritional benefits while opponents say these fears are exaggerated.
Editors Insight: The debate over GMO labeling is one of the hottest issues in the food industry and the supply chain plays a very important role in how GMO information is gathered and made available to retailers and consumers. Whatever rules become law, the supply chain will play an important role in compliance because GMO information and other food data moves throughout the supply chain.
For supply chain companies, the immediate order of business is not to fashion an opinion on this highly controversial topic as much as it is to understand the tools they will use in gathering and communicating food data. The food labeling debate and other debates increase consumers’ and lawmakers’ awareness of how to access food data.
The amount of food data continues to expand exponentially. GMO data is only one type of data that the supply chain must keep track of.
As the GMO label debate and other labeling-related debates continue, consumers and lawmakers will want to know more about the data and they will seek answers from companies in the food supply chain.
The good news is that supply chain players have data management tools that are pivotal to creating not only food labels, but data for all types of food related activities. By Elliot Maras 7-13-15