Labeling Genetically Modified Food: The Philosophical and Legal Debate

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Overview

Food products with genetically modified (GM) ingredients are common, yet many consumers are unaware of this. When polled, consumers say that they want to know whether their food contains GM ingredients, just as many want to know whether their food is natural or organic. Informing consumers is a major motivation for labeling. But labeling need not be mandatory. Consumers who want GM-free products will pay a premium to support voluntary labeling.

Why do consumers want to know about GM ingredients? GM foods are tested to ensure safety and have been on the market for more than a decade. Still, many consumers, including some with food allergies, want to be cautious. Also, GM crops may affect neighboring plants through pollen drift. Despite tests for environmental impact, some consumers may worry that GM crops will adversely effect the environment. The study of risk and its management raises questions not settled by the life sciences alone.

This book surveys various labeling policies and the cases for them. It is the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary treatment of the debate about labeling genetically modified food. The contributors include philosophers, bioethicists, food and agricultural scientists, attorneys/legal scholars, and economists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The biggest strength of this volume is its interdisciplinary roster of authoritative contributors, most of whom are leaders in the discourse on genetically modified food policy in the US.... A holistic reading gives a balanced range of perspectives on this timely and controversial topic."—J.M. Deutsch, CHOICE
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195326864
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Weirich is Professor of Philosophy at University of Missouri-Columbia.

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Table of Contents

Preface/Acknowledgements/Introduction
1. A Scientific Perspective on Labeling Genetically Modified Food, Michael W. Pariza
2. Genetically Modified Organisms for Agricultural Food Production: The Extent of the Art and the State of the Science, R. Michael Roberts
3. Biotechnology and the Food Label: A Legal Perspective, Frederick Degnan
4. Traceability and Labeling of GM Food and Feed in the European Union, Margaret Rosso Grossman
5. Genetically Engineered Animals and the Ethics of Food Labeling, Robert Streiffer and Alan Rubel
6. Mandatory GE Labels and Consumer Autonomy, Peter Markie
7. Market Evidence of Consumer Response to Mandated Genetically Modified Food Labels, Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, Leonie A Marks, and Steven S. Vickner
8. Frankenfood Free: Consumer Sovereignty, Federal Regulation and Industry Control in Marketing and Choosing Food in the U.S., Thomas O. McGarity
9. Regulatory Barriers to Consumer Information, Philip G. Peters and Thomas A. Lambert
10. Labeling GM Foods: Rights, Interests, Enforcement, and Institutional Options, Clark Wolf
11. Different Conceptions of Food Labels and Acceptable Risks: Some Contingent/Institutional Considerations in Favor of Labeling, Carl Cranor
12. Using Food Labels to Regulate Risks, Paul Weirich
Index

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