Should we label genetically modified food?

GMO soybeans
A field sowed with transgenic soybeans is harvested in Argentina in this file photo.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images

States--including California and Vermont--are considering laws that would require that genetically modified foods be clearly labeled on the packaging. Nationwide, the Food and Drug Administration has received tens of thousands of signatures from Americans who want GMO foods labeled.

We wanted to talk more about this topic after it came up briefly during our show on organic and industrial farming.

But what would those labels really tell consumers about that food? What does the science say about the safety of GMOs?

Greg Conko, senior fellow at the Washington, DC-based public interest group Competitive Enterprise Institute, joins The Daily Circuit Monday to talk about GMO labeling on foods.

"Label information about GM status is primarily used by those trying to avoid GM foods," he wrote for Capitalism Magazine. "Consequently, a vibrant market has developed for foods negatively labeled as 'GMO-free' or 'organic'. No mandate was necessary."

Gary Hirshberg, co-founder and chairman of Stonyfield Farm and partner in the Just Label It Campaign, will also join the discussion.

"Well over 90 percent of consumers think this should be labeled," he said in the Boston Globe. "We already label for things like irradiation and made from concentrate. The only reason not to do this is if we want to buckle to the financial power of five or six biotech companies."

ALSO THIS HOUR: Researcher Les Szabo on wheat rust, GMOs

VIDEO: Biotech Q&A with Greg Conko

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