U.S. Senate wants GMO labels - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

U.S. Senate wants GMO labels

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Illinois -

WSIL – People want to know what exactly they are consuming, and to make things easier, Congress passed legislation for a new food label law through the Senate on Thursday.

The legislation wants ingredients that are Genetically Modified Organisms to be labeled as such.

Francis Murphy, general manager of the Neighborhood Co-op in Carbondale, said it is something his customers and company want.

“I think it is just important that people have the ability to tell whether or not something contains GMOs or not, so they can make their own decisions,” Murphy said.

However, the label does not have to be written. The food company can opt to use a QR code, which is similar to a bar code and can be scanned for information by a Smartphone. That could prove difficult for some consumers, but Murphy has another idea.

“It’s possible that the QR code itself will basically become the symbol for ‘contains GMOs’ and so the people will just know automatically,” he said.

While consumers who chose to eat organic or non-GMO would favor the label, co-owner of Flamm Orchards, Jeff Flamm, said it is not that big of a deal.

“There are no scientific studies to prove that GMO products are harmful to you in any way. That’s just the bottom line,” Flamm said.

On the other hand, people like Murphy believe there has not been enough time to properly research possible effects.

Flamm believes if people want to use fewer chemicals like pesticides on their produce, they should favor GMOs.

“When they genetically modify a plant, all they’re doing is speeding up a process that can occur naturally through evolution,” he said. “You can modify these plants to where they are resistant to diseases or even insects and therefore you’ve reduced pesticide use.”

Flamm added that only a small number of produce products can actually be genetically modified, and that change comes in the form of a seed.

Flamm Orchards is not organic, but aside from some of their squash, they are GMO free.

The Senate legislation has not yet been endorsed in the House.

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