The food industry also raises a legitimate worry that diverse state labeling laws could force them to make separate packages for foods in different states.
Given the obstacles to labeling, and its limited benefits, it would be better to refocus efforts to improve the U.S. food supply on issues more worrying for human health. Already, the FDA is proposing to eliminate artificial trans fats from the food supply, and it should be encouraged to see that that happens. The same agency should also be pressed to lower the volume of antibiotics fed to animals in meat production.
As for genetically altered foods, perhaps public preferences and competition will lead to voluntary labeling. Whole Foods has said it will require GM labels on products in its stores by 2018. And maybe if the food industry spent the money now devoted to defeating labeling initiatives on telling the public about the benefits of using science to improve and expand the world’s food supply this whole issue might just go away.