Science allies and supporters of agricultural biotechnology are clearly not the only people who have grown frustrated with misleading food labels.
The comedy website Funny Or Die has also taken a swipe at food marketers who affix labels to their products that are meant to confuse consumers.
In collaboration with Peel Back the Label, a consumer education campaign from the National Milk Producers Federation, Funny or Die takes a comedic look at the absence claims so often found on food products in Western supermarkets.
In the video, a marketing executive recommends that a milk company affix a ‘GMO free’ label to its packaging in order to boost lagging sales.
“But all milk is GMO free,” the milk company representative says.
“You know it, and I know it, but no one else does. So here’s the plan. We’re gonna put a label on it: GMO free!” the marketing professional explains.
The milk rep’s response that “GMOs are totally safe” are laughed off by the marketing exec as “simple” and “naive”. The two men then visit “the most confusing place in the world”, a grocery store where misleading labels abound. They then let the viewer in on the ultimate secret:
“You simply bombard the consumer with meaningless claims until they’re too confused and frustrated to make an informed decision,” they say.
Studies have shown that Western consumers are confused and misinformed about their food choices thanks in part to vocal anti-GMO groups that have been successful in stoking fears and causing confusion around genetically modified foods, which have been shown to be perfectly safe time and time again.
The labeling of food products is no laughing matter, especially as the United States prepares for the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law, which will require all large companies to affix new labels affixed to all ‘bioengineered’ foods by 2020. The US Department of Agriculture’s proposed rules for the new labels is likely to infuriate activist groups who have worked so hard to make the term ‘GMO’ a bogeyman. The USDA’s draft proposal does away with terms like ‘GMO’, ‘genetically engineered’ and ‘genetically modified’ altogether in favor of ‘bioengineered’.
Supermarket photo: Brian Hurst/Flickr