Economic value of labeling GMOs

05/21/2014 6:05 AM

05/22/2014 9:21 AM

Re "Jackson County, Oregon, approves GMO ban" (Business, May 20): A great deal's been said about benefits of labeling genetically modified foods (GMOs) as healthy food: right to know, preservation of land on which things grow, but no mention of the positive economic impact that labeling GMOs will have on California's non-GMO exports as more countries ban the import of American GMO food.

Agriculture is a major economic driver in California, generating $43.5 billion in revenue in 2011, including the state's $1.39 billion organic agricultural sector. Mandatory identification of foods produced with genetic engineering can be a critical strategy in preserving the economic value of California's exports.

In 2013, there were 67 countries that banned or regulated the growth of GMO foods, and restrictions on importing GMO foods are growing. In June, 2013, South Korea joined Japan's ban on U.S. wheat imports. In April, 2014, Russia Completely Banned GMOs.

-- Adrienne Samuesl, Solana Beach

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