A food company which does not monitor its suppliers is dicing with human disaster and financial ruin. The costs you refer to are already incurred as "quality" control wich is a necessary step in food processing.
Not necessarily. The producer's responsibility is that the end product be reasonably safe -- the intermediate products don't have to be. There was a huge debate about this in Europe with regard to French raw milk cheese -- a high quality end product whose input, unpasteurized milk, contained too many microbes by EU standards. The solution, I think correctly, was to hold producers accountable for their products and leave it to them to deal with input security. Why shouldn't the same logic apply to GM foods?
This might a good place to interject a question about what "cholesterol free" and "fat free" really mean, while on the topic of misleading information on the part of the food companies....
Speaking for nobody but myself, I'd find out if I was interested, but I don't care, so I don't know. See how nicely this illustrates my former point about being rationally ignorant?
I think you are presumptuous and approaching rudeness in this post. Are you suggesting the contributors here are "the frightened and the conservative".
I'm sorry you think I'm presumptuous. I believe that the effect of implementing what littlek suggested would be to put the frightened and conservative in control. I have no reason to believe that this is her, or your, or cavfancier's intention, and no, I am not suggesting it is.
You are obsesed with the notion of the market as a magic hand as it is portrayed in economics story books. Thomas, remember that economics is the quasi science which rather inadequately concerns itself with the way humans use resources.
Thanks for informing me about my obsessions. Would you care to support derogatory terms like"quasi science" and "story books" and "rather inadequately" with evidence? Also, if you know a better approach, I'd be delighted to hear what it is, and why it is better.
We are capable of having values and making judgments without consulting the stock and commodities market. Sometimes we anticipate problems before they occur. We learn from experience and experience has taught us that authorities do lie, enterprises do put profits before people and those who invest will go to extraordinary lengths to protect THEIR interest. Maybe the most important lessons we learn are we humans are very fallible and nature is an unforgiving mistress.
All of this is true. But ... a) It is also addressed in every major undergraduate text book on microeconomics. b) experience has also taught us that consumers can drive even large companies into bankruptcy with their buying decisions. Why not solve the problem by using this power? c) Companies don't exist to lie, they exist to make money. If they can make money by labelling their products more informatively, there's no reason they won't do it. You, for sure, haven't offered such a reason. d) I agree we are fallible. But people aren't less fallible just because they work for the government, so bringing the government in does nothing to fix this particular problem.
Thomas, I detect a note of chagrin in your last post.
You mean because of the part about "Apart from rhetoric, you haven't provided any reason ..."? No, that wasn't because I'm angry, it's because you express strong opinions with strong rhetoric -- both of which are fine! -- but you're a bit short on evidence for these opinions. At least this is how it comes across to me.
I think Thomas assumes that people are smarter than they are,
Quite possible. Mostly though, I believe that there's just one (or very few) ways of being smart, while there's a lot of ways of being dumb. Therefore, when trying to predict the behavior of large numbers of people, my best bet is to assume they're smart, and that the dumbness component somehow averages out.
Thanks for staying with me during this jumbo-sized, high colesterol post