Home > GM Foods in the News > What Choices Does the Counsumer Have?

What Choices Does the Counsumer Have?

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 31 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Consumer Foods Labelled Gm Foods Choice

In today's world, it can seem that many decisions are taken out of the consumer's hands. We rely on the government, scientists and various experts in a number of different fields to make decisions for us and guide the public in the best direction for improved quality of life. But ultimately, most consumers want to learn more about the food supply and how it can affect their health.

As people become more informed, they become more interested to have choices in their health and make better food decisions at the supermarket.

Yet, an informed public is important to ensure that the authorities we 'trust' are held accountable for their actions. For Britain in particular, consumers tend to be more wary of new technologies involving their food. While other places such as the United States have experienced comparatively less controversy over genetically modified (GM) foods, in Britain there is a deep mistrust in these kinds of changes to our foods.

Informed Decisions About Agriculture

For most people, a real and true choice in terms of GM foods is to make an informed decision about which agricultural method and product they support. While the public do rely to a great extent on regulatory bodies to determine if a product is safe for consumption, for a growing number of Britons this is simply not enough. Instead, they want clear labelling on all products so that they may choose to avoid GM foods.

The government must make its decisions on sound, scientific facts. The problem here is that studies on GM foods have been extremely mixed as well as debated in terms of their experimental design and reporting. The lack of sufficient long-term studies into the effects of GM foods has also made the task of weeding through the studies a difficult one.

European Laws And Consumer Choice

In 2004, new European rules meant that flour, oils and glucose syrups are required to be labelled as genetically modified if derived from a GM source. However, any food products that involve production from GM technology such as a dairy product that involves production with GM enzymes, does not require labelling.

Any meat, dairy or eggs that come from animals fed on GM animal feed do not require labelling either. If an intentional use of a GM product is done, then it must be labelled but small amounts of approved GM ingredients that 'end up' in foods do not require labelling.

The Rights Of Britons

While Britons do exercise their rights and desire to choose, it is perhaps here where their voices are not only heard but also responded to in terms of government policy. Were it not for the initial public controversy over the newly introduced GM foods when they first hit Europe's commercial market, the European Union perhaps would not have such stringent regulations and laws around the authorisation of GM foods.

It can perhaps be said that consumers do indeed have many choices but it is still not enough. Not only that, but consumer education on GM foods has been somewhat lacking and those who are aware of GM foods and their controversies tend to be people who have specifically sought out the information. Hopefully, labelling will become universally mandatory and consumers in Britain and elsewhere can all exercise their rights to choose – in an informed manner – whether they want to support or avoid GM foods.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • capitalistic bastard
    Re: Fact Sheet: Pros vs Cons
    If god is real then he would accept all his children. Including the lizard people and the angry demimgod Xenu. And I think he would…
    27 April 2017
  • dunno
    Re: Fact Sheet: Pros vs Cons
    Okay seriously calm down for one we don't know if god is real or not because we don't have solid proof except for "man's" word and we…
    25 April 2017
  • dragonhunter
    Re: Fact Sheet: Pros vs Cons
    i think that they can help alot.
    24 April 2017
  • Communist66642069
    Re: Fact Sheet: Pros vs Cons
    Why is everyone ignoring the fact that regarldess of the GMOs There are alien lizards ruling our governmentthey are the only god in…
    4 April 2017
  • fc222 IS WRONG
    Re: Fact Sheet: Pros vs Cons
    Attention. I have made another mistake. I assure that this will not happen again, and I thank you for your understanding. The previous…
    31 March 2017
  • poopy
    Re: Fact Sheet: Pros vs Cons
    this is a very cool they i love it its amazing
    30 March 2017
  • feministchristian222
    Re: Fact Sheet: Pros vs Cons
    This is the nickname I meant to set in my previous statement. I apear to have made a mistake, which will not happen again
    29 March 2017
  • feministchristian222
    Re: Fact Sheet: Pros vs Cons
    In this essay, I aim to explain why feministchristian222 has lied to you all. My first point is that God is decisively not real. After…
    29 March 2017
  • Heavenlord666
    Re: Fact Sheet: Pros vs Cons
    I agree with feminist christian. My son is now gay.
    29 March 2017
  • feministchristian222
    Re: Fact Sheet: Pros vs Cons
    gm crops are against the bibles rules. we should never mess with the eternal one's plan for us. if he says that normal rice should make…
    29 March 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the GeneticallyModifiedFoods website. Please read our Disclaimer.