Food companies currently are free to voluntarily provide the labeling information the proposed law mandates. However, according to the draft legislation, “only a small portion of the food industry participates in voluntary labeling”. The question, unanswered by those supporting the bill, is why food processors are not voluntarily providing the information that would be required by the new law. Perhaps the price of food would increase as monitoring costs increase or perhaps the need to alert consumers to the presence of GM ingredients in food products isn’t as important as the legislators believe — maybe consumers don’t care.
I will follow the path of Senate Bill 1666 as it grinds its way through the legislative process in Springfield.
Who knows, I may soon need to travel to Keokuk to purchase my favorite peanut butter which is unavailable here in Macomb because it is not properly labeled.
Professor Bailey formerly was the Chief Economist for the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food and Nutrition.
He also has served as Deputy-Under Secretary of Agriculture.