- The desire for GMO labels does not necessarily boost beliefs for or against GMOs, according to a study presented at the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
- For those who felt positive about GMO labels, opposition to GMO fell in groups with lower education levels, in single parent homes, and those making the most money. However, men and those in the middle-income group saw increases in opposition to GMO when they supported GMO labeling.
- "When you look at consumer opposition to the use of GM technologies in food and account for the label, we found that overall the label has no direct impact on opposition. And it increased support for GM in some demographic groups," said Jane Kolodinsky, author of the study and professor and chair of the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont.
The release of this study's findings comes just after the House passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling bill, which would prevent state-mandated GMO labeling. Part of the reason that bill was passed was because food companies harbored concerns that the GMO label would be seen as a warning and could unfairly hurt their sales.
Based on her findings, Kolodinsky said, "This was not what I hypothesized based on the reasoning behind the introduction of The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling bill. We didn't find evidence that the labels will work as a warning." She also said, "And there is some evidence that the label will increase consumer confidence in GM technology among certain groups."
The findings confirm one of the points supporters of GMO labeling made, which is that the GMO label was never meant to be a warning label but rather just a way to better inform consumers about what is in their food.