If you as a consumer want to buy products with detailed content lists,
you'll buy only those products.
But (in an admittedly extreme case) should a street vendor have to pay a
laboratory to analyze each batch of his or her bagels? And then pass that
cost on to a largely indifferent public?
Regulations have a direct cost. Each of us has a choice to buy those
products we want--and in the process, create economic niches. But why
compel others to pay those costs?
For regulators, the task is even tougher. Any rule that adds to the cost
of living means that families, especially those on the economic margins,
have to make tough choices about safety, education and so forth.
We need to be extremely careful lest regulations do more harm, in
unintended ways, than they do good.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bluestem Associates [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Monday, December 13, 1999 6:03 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: RE: GMO labeling
> On Mon, 13 Dec 1999 10:37:56 -0600, Fulton, John wrote:
> > I'd hate to mandate that everyone pay more for labeling that, at
> >present, concerns only a minority.
> We already pay for a lot of labelling that concerns only a minority.
> Look at the 'Nutrition Facts' on virtually any food sold in the States.
> Please tell me, who cares about the protein content of mineral water?
> More useful on the tequila with the worm in it ! Those nutrient content
> tests you have to buy from Covance (or their competitors) don't come
> More disturbing is to hear the government saying (on the one hand) 'We
> shouldn't label for GMOs because it would confuse consumers.' yet on
> the other hand to remember that the government had to be pressured to
> include 'calories from fat' on those same Nutrition Fact labels. The
> same FDA folks suggesting that consumers aren't sophisticated enough to
> understand a GMO label felt that those same consumers were
> sophisticated enough to know that fat contains 9 Calories per gram, and
> to multiply the number of grams of fat times 9 and divide the result by
> the total number of Calories. They flat out refused to do the logical
> thing, which is to have a straightforward listing of the percentage of
> Calories from fat.
> The simple fact of the matter is that the food industry vetoed it. So
> now the US has the most complete, most complicated nutrition labelling
> in the world, for our 'unsophisticated' consumers. Best labels, but we
> are the most obese, most poorly nourished nation in the world.
> Obviously only a few of us pay attention to those labels.
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