In the case of genetically-engineered rBGH, Monsanto was reported to
have threatened to sue those who would label their milk rBGH free,
according to a documentary made by two journalists who were then
sacked from their work. Perhaps, others know the details better.
Who should be required to label is important because it will have
far-reaching consequences on business viability, and also because it
reflects a society's "default mode", or "commonly-preferred" practice
and what it considers to stray from such practice.
Look at the organic vs. chemical production. Current laws in effect
make chemical production the "default" and organic the "exceptional",
which requires organic labelling and all the bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo
it requires. This makes organics more expensive and provides a
built-in bias in favor of chemically-laced food. If the opposite was
done instead: there is no need to label if you are chemical-free and
you are required to label and go through all the bureaucratic
mumbo-jumbo if you use chemicals, then the price of organics would go
down, and of chemically-produced food would go up. This would then
make organics more competitive, having become the "default".
The biotech industry (see Dale's arguments) is maneuvering to put
GE-free in the same boat as organics, and GE products in the same
"commonly-preferred", default status as chemically-produced food.
If successful, they'll make GE-free products bear all the costs of
labeling and segregation. This will mire GE-free products in
bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo and make them more expensive, and help ensure
the market domination of GE products.
The strategy worked with chemically-grown food. We should learn our
lesson and not allow it to happen with GE food. Labelling should be
legally required of GE food producers, and purely voluntary for
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