My friend Jane is vehemently opposed to GM foods. She says that all Genetically Modified food should be clearly labelled as such, so that she and like-minded consumers can avoid eating them. She's appalled that millions of people have unwittingly consumed GM foods, and, even though scientific studies have not revealed any adverse effects, she expects that it's just a matter of time before they surface.
I see Jane's point. Personally, I'm opposed to GMT food. In my childhood on the farm, my family produced its own food (except for the eggs delivered every week by old Mr. MacDonald), and we never fell ill. But when I moved to the city, and started buying food transported by truck, I rarely went a month without succumbing to some disease. Supermarkets get food delivered by Gigantic Massive Trucks (GMT), and there's no way these trucks could be hygienic. It's appalling that millions of people have consumed GMT foods without realizing the conditions under which the food was transported. The FDA should run some scientific studies to show the health effects that these people suffer. In the meantime, food companies should be forced to clearly mark GMT foods (including those with GMT ingredients), so that people like me can avoid them. I realize that this will entail some amount of upheaval in the food industry, but all I'm asking is that they clearly and honestly label foods, so that consumers can make their own decisions about what to buy. It's my right as a consumer to know how the food I'm eating got to my plate.
The above, of course, is a parody. If there really were a market for non-GMT foods, then food producers would supply it, and mark such items as non-GMT. Similarly for non-GM food products. In the meantime, people who don't care about these issues can continue to blithely eat cheap, unlabelled foods.
"But," argue the opponents of GM foods, "genetic modifications are unnatural." No more so than transporting food thousands of miles by truck.
Labelling GM food, or GMT food, for that matter, would not be simple or cheap, because (e.g.) non-GM and GM ingredients currently get mixed during food production. Each food supplier and processor would have to strictly segregate its food inputs by source, and also strictly cleanse the containers used. It can be done, of course, but at a price, and that price should be borne by the people who demand non-GM food, and not by those who don't care.