Should Genetically Modified Food Have Labels? - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Should Genetically Modified Food Have Labels?

QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - While you may not taste the difference in genetically modified foods many Americans want to at least see the difference. A recent Reuters poll had 93 percent of responders saying the federal government should require labels on genetically modified food.   

"We live in a land of choice so let's make it easy to understand if we're going to be selecting a genetically modified product or an organic product," said Mike Roegge, small farms and local food system educator.

About 80-90 percent of all corn and soybeans produced are genetically modified so whether you support explicit labeling of these GMO's, as they're known, or not you may already be eating it. 

The Quincy Hy-Vee on Broadway gives customers the next best thing aside from actual labels, the opportunity to learn about the product they're buying.

"It comes down to knowing what you're eating. In education there's always that first step of knowing what you put in your body and having that choice," said Brittany Donlon, registered dietitian at the Broadway Hy-Vee.

"I'm sure there's a lot of people that would probably have a problem with anything that's not organic," said local Quincy resident Bill Sederwall.

There are indicators, however, to find which products aren't GMO's and the easiest way is to look for the USDA certified logo on the product.

"You're never gonna see the label genetically modified, they're just going to say soy or whatever the product is," said Donlon.

The practice itself has many benefits for farmers. Mike Roegge farms soybeans and corn using genetic modification.   

"From a farmer's standpoint it saves both time and money, and increases income," said Roegge.

A proposal in the Illinois Senate would declare any food sold for retail as misbranded if it was genetically engineered and not disclosed in a certain manner. It is currently being reviewed by a Senate committee, however lawmakers aren't expected to take action on it until the fall veto session at the earliest.

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