Food labels should state the benefits of GMOs

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Sir

You state in the News story “Europe gets tough on labelling genetically modified foodstuffs” (Nature 418, 114; 200210.1038/418114a) that an angry food industry claims that stricter labels would imply a health risk.

On the contrary. The GMOs potentially present in trace amounts have been far more thoroughly assessed for safety than the rest of the food, but the labelling tells us nothing of this. The European Union has selected GMOs for special labelling because many people are uncertain of the benefits and risks. Surely, then, labels should convey the positive (and, where appropriate, negative) environmental, nutritional or economic attributes of the modification? This would help consumers make informed decisions to buy or avoid products.

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Righelato, R. Food labels should state the benefits of GMOs. Nature 419, 337 (2002) doi:10.1038/419337d

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