Biotech Updates

Mandatory GE Food Labeling Impacts Customer Purchases, Study

August 24, 2022

Labels indicating ingredients from genetically engineered plants may lead to a reduction in sales, according to a study conducted by researchers from Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences. The study, published in Food Policy, looked at the sales trend data from Vermont after a law on mandatory genetically engineered (GE) food labeling was implemented.

The researchers found that after the mandatory labeling was implemented, food sales with GE ingredients were reduced by 5.9%. On the other hand, the sales of products labeled as non-GE increased by 2.5%, while organic products increased by 7%.

“We know that GE products are safe, but many are concerned that mandatory labeling would lead to people rejecting these products and increased problems with food insecurity,” Fan said. “While we did see a small decrease in sales, it wasn't a large effect, and we also found that attitudes about GE products improved over time.”

Fan stressed that several food manufacturers had expressed their concern against such labeling laws due to their potential to impact the sales of GE products negatively.

Read the news release from Penn State for more details.

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