Comment: Nothing wrong with providing information. Kosher agmt invalid

(See in situ)

In reply to comment: By this logic (see in situ)

Nothing wrong with providing information. Kosher agmt invalid

The market adjusts much more quickly when important information is readily available. In the case of GMO vs natural food, the consumer has no ability to identify the difference otherwise unless non-GMO producers label their foods as "non-GMO" as a selling point. The free market works best when actors making informed decisions.

"By this logic every new technique or technology used to compose a consumer good should require labeling to save us time from letting markets, reputations, the demands of the consumer, etc. figure this out..."

If the new technology or technique poses potential health risks to the consumer that are known beforehand by the producer and not readily apparent by the nature of the product, the consumer has a right to know about the hazards whether or not the producer wishes to disclose the information.

For instance suppose that I want to market a food to diabetics that has a new sweetener that I have developed. Personally, I know that the new sweetener can cause intestinal cancer in the long term; however, I deem the risk to be minimal and decide not to disclose the information. Subsequently, the product is a success, but after ten or twenty years of consumption, people begin having problems. At this point, the people have been consuming the product so long that I could say that the cancer could have been caused by nearly anything. Then, the burden of proof is placed on the accusers which must spend exorbitant amounts of money in medical expenses trying to prove their case.

Should have I been obligated to disclose this information as soon as I knew it? Or as the producer, is it my right to make the unilateral decision to not release the information and let the market find it out over a very long period of time?

"...presuming producers were out to hurt their customers in the first place!"

I do not presume that producers are out to hurt their customers. However, when it is deemed that risks are minimal by the producer, the decision to disclose would likely be weighed against potential profits and/or potential court costs.

" The author takes time to establish the NAP and then promptly stomps on it once it gets in his way of desired information!"

This is simply not true. Every person has a right to defend their health. Without a way to tell which is which, am I not to buy corn at all until the health risks are found at some later time? If corn were outright boycotted by a large part of the population due to lack of knowledge of what was what, innocent producers would be unduly punished due to the other producers unwillingness to label foods voluntarily.

"I think the argument can be boiled to "This one particularly subset of producers within this particular category of consumer goods should be forced (under threat of government violence) to disclose information that I prefer them to."

No. I think it should apply broadly where known hazards are present, but the products couldn't be differentiated otherwise and the hazards aren't apparent from the nature of the product.

"The Kosher food industry is a delightful anecdote on how free markets can successfully label foods even with much stricter criteria than most of us are used to."

It's not a good example at all. There are laws that cover the enforcement of kosher preparation whether broadly or specifically. See "KOSHER WITHOUT LAW: THE ROLE OF NONLEGAL SANCTIONS IN OVERCOMING FRAUD WITHIN THE KOSHER FOOD INDUSTRY" by Shayna M. Sigman, a law professor from the University of Minnesota. An excerpt from page 550 reads:

Most states have consumer protection statutes that are broad enough to cover many instances of the fraudulent sale of nonkosher food, even though they do not identify kosher fraud specifically. For example, most states have deceptive business trade acts that prohibit false advertising and misrepresentation.236 This includes the behavior of parties who recklessly or willfully offer food for sale as kosher when it is not. Prosecution occurs on the state level, and the power is vested in the attorney general’s office.

From page 551:

Kosher fraud statutes represent a specialized form of consumer protection law aimed at protecting consumers in the kosher food industry. Twenty-two states have enacted kosher fraud laws.

People definitely have the right to know what they are eating.

BTW, I wrote the original article.