The Washington Post contains an article on a recent survey by Oklahoma State University where over 80 percent of Americans support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,”
The Oklahoma State survey result is probably an example of the intersection between scientific ignorance and political ignorance, both of which are widespread.The most obvious explanation for the data is that most of these people don’t really understand what DNA is, and don’t realize that it is contained in almost all food. When they read that a strange substance called “DNA” might be included in their food, they might suspect that this is some dangerous chemical inserted by greedy corporations for their own nefarious purposes.
The article discusses the wider issue of scientific ignorance driving policy decisions, and there is some further comment at io9. A summary of the full survey results is available (PDF).
"It is like nuts."
I agree, the labeling crazyness is nuts.
The worst part is, there are things that should be labeled, but get drowned out in a wave of "Fat Free Organiciy GMOed Tree Nuts" labels.
The one that REALLY amuses me is "GLUTEN FREE!!!" as if gluten was some sort of poison. Guess what? Gluten is only a problem if you have celiac disease, a rare genetic disorder. It has as much meaning to a normal person as "low calorie" has to a skinny guy like me who would like to add a few pounds.
At least it is something measurable and actually makes a difference to someone.
"Certified Organic", now that is a load of bullshit right there. At least they used organic fertilizer.
There has been a lot of criticism of the word "organic", but that word has more than just the chemical meaning. OED: "(Of food or farming methods) produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents." Of course, it also gives the scientific definition.
Criticism should go towards those who use use "organic" as a meaningless buzzword. If you use glyphosate and call your crop "organic" you're a liar. Of course, true organic farming uses a lot of real, physical bullshit.