There exists a debate over whether genetically modified food should be labeled or not. Some people consider it the right of the people to know what they are consuming; whereas, others suggest that as long as people are getting what they want at affordable rates they should not be concerned about what it contains. People in favor of the argument that food products should be labeled and accurately indicative of the ingredients it contains. If it contains products that are genetically produced or are artificial in their nature, then it should be the individual’s decision whether to consume this product or not. On the other hand, almost every product contains ingredients that are either genetic in nature; therefore, it is difficult to sift out products. Many businesses would be affected if labeling of such warning is made compulsory. Some people criticize the government for not taking serious action against this act as it is harmful for the consumers of these products in the long-run.
There are several arguments that create disparity about genetically engineered foods. There has been artificial interference in the production of food products for thousands of years. Today, people are aware of these interferences which have caused them to rise against this methodology. Almost every food product is affected by artificial genes; therefore, it is difficult or almost impossible for the FDA to take corrective actions. However, the FDA must make it compulsory for companies to label this clearly on their food items so that the choice of consuming or not stays with the customer. Some researchers claim that genetic engineering causes no harm to the human body; in fact, in many instances these microbes enter our digestive system and provide benefits to the human body. No disease, death, or illness can be linked to genetic engineering of food items consumed by people; hence, there is no need for this practice to be changed. If genetically engineered products are specifically labeled by the companies then it would create a perception that something is wrong with this food product. In order to avoid this problem companies have decided to keep this extra information from customers.
Genetically modified foods may be harmful for health because they contain ingredients that are produced in laboratories rather than through a natural process. In my opinion, it is unethical to keep the consumers of these products in the dark. It is the company’s ethical responsibility to inform consumers when genetically engineered products are used in the production of a food item. However, many of the ethical practices are mostly ignored by large companies as it adds to their costs unnecessarily (Marushkina, 2009). Consequently, in this era of technology it is the consumer’s responsibility to some extent to keep themselves aware of their external environment. In many instances, people have to be proactive rather than relying of official authorities or multinationals to help them (Noussair, Robin and Ruffieux, 2004). It cannot be ignored that consumers who are proactive often do have an impact upon business practices which forces companies to adopt those methods that are acceptable by its consumers as mentioned in the case itself. Labeling even helps companies to market themselves and appeal to the customers. If the company provides adequate information on the labels it would help them differentiate themselves from their competitors. But this adds to the company’s costs when they can use other marketing tactics to differentiate themselves in the consumer’s minds. If the customer’s are aware of the harmful effects of genetics in their food items they can best decide whether they should consume these items or not. Since, evidence does not indicate that genetically modified foods are fatal to an individual’s health; hence, there is no urgent need for companies to attach labels that highlight this fact.
Marushkina , Olena . "GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD ." Economics for Ecology -.- (2009): 87-88. Print.
Ruffieux, Bernard , Charles Noussair, and StÃ©phane Robin. "Do Consumers Really Refuse To Buy Genetically Modified Food?." The Economic Journal 114.492 (2004): 102-120. Print.