Given the gate to plate nature of the agricultural industry, false consumer perceptions can actually do a great deal of harm to family farmers. For instance, misconceptions about finely textured beef lead to huge losses in cattle markets and 800 or more jobs in the beef industry. Or take the case of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Due partly in response to government intervention through sugar tariffs as well as technological advances, this new sweetener was produced by increasing fructose levels in corn syrup. The end product was technically higher in fructose compared to normal corn syrup, but it did not represent a ‘high fructose’ sweetener relative to other sweeteners such as ordinary table sugar. At the time listing the technical name ‘high fructose corn syrup’ in the ingredients of food products seemed harmless enough. However, recently many misconceptions about HFCS have made their way into the media, despite the evidence to the contrary. Similar to finely textured beef or HFCS, listing or labeling GMO ingredients could have a similar effect on consumer sentiment if this conveyed a false sense of risk or harm associated with GMO foods. This could not only have a negative impact on family farms that depend on this technology, but a government incentivized drop in consumer demand for GMOs through labeling would also imply a loss of the actual environmental and safety benefits of this rather green technology.
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i'm the leftist liberal you've been warned about - the one who genuinely supports the expansion of the welfare state. i love politics and data and graffiti and street art and am far too lazy to use my shift key. if you need to reach me, you can email to abbyjean at the google email service.