Colorado Voters Choose Food Affordability and Access

November 5, 2014

WASHINGTON – (November 5, 2014) Following the rejection yesterday by Colorado voters of Proposition 105 which would have mandated labels for foods improved through biotechnology, Val Giddings, Senior Fellow with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) releases the following statement:

In Colorado yesterday, voters rejected the misleading, fear-based campaign to put a “scarlet letter” on genetically modified foods. This initiative, pushed by well-financed, ideological interests, would have served only to confuse consumers and raise food prices without increasing safety or citizen knowledge.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration  has stated that since genetic modification, in and of itself, does not impact the safety or nutrition of a food, labels specifically designed to alert consumers to the use of modern techniques for seed improvement are unnecessary. In addition, GMO crops and foods have been tested and researched more than any others in history with the overwhelming scientific consensus indicating that GMOs are eminently safe.

Since biotech opponents have failed to ban GMOs at the federal level they are now turning to state labeling campaigns to roll back use of GM foods. Leading anti-GM advocate Andrew Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety has stated publicly that “we are going to force them to label this food. If we have it labeled, then we can organize people not to buy it.” 

These advocates willfully overlook the fact that GM foods have been responsible for increasing abundance and reducing the price of food. In contrast, the organic foods favored by labeling proponents generally cost between 20 and 100 percent more than non-organics. By imposing their own elite interests on the rest of Americans, anti-GMO advocates’ campaign for labeling would end up raising food costs for everyone.

We commend the citizens of Colorado for protecting the environmental benefits, food abundance and lower prices that have been delivered by seeds and crops improved through biotechnology. We also urge voters and policymakers across the country to reject these special interest rent-seeking efforts and protect food access for all.

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The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Learn more at www.itif.org.