food

GMOs - It's time for change

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 by: John McKiernan
Tags: GMO, labeling, petition

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(NaturalNews) More than 40 countries, including China, require the labeling of genetically modified foods, but the U.S. is not one of them. Almost the entire U.S. soy (94 percent) and corn (72 percent) crop is now GMO. The only way to avoid these crops is to buy certified organic. Recent polls show 90 percent of Americans want GMO labeling, yet the big food corporations are still not required to label. Americans believe strongly in their right to know what's in their food, yet we still don't have any laws about it. Why?

The politicians that started it all

The U.S. continues to adhere to a decades old policy regarding GMO food-labeling. Twenty years ago then-Vice President Dan Quayle required no new laws for genetically engineered foods, under the persuasion that genetic engineering is no different than traditional plant breeding.

From Dan Quayle's policy speech regarding America's stance on GMOs:

"The U.S. is already the world leader in biotechnology and we want to keep it that way. In 1991 alone, it was a 4 billion dollar industry; it should reach at least 50 billion dollars by the year 2000, as long as we resist the spread of unnecessary regulation."

Quayle isn't the only one to blame. Unbelievably the policy was written by a former Monsanto lawyer named Michael Taylor, who served as the FDA deputy commissioner of policy under the Bush administration. Incredibly, again in 2009 the Obama administration elected Taylor as the deputy commissioner of foods, where he presently supervises food safety policy for the federal government.

Thanks to government corruption and politicians like Quayle and Taylor, the U.S. is at odds with the rest world and its own people on an issue that is so crucial.

The corporate anti-labeling team

As the November ballot approaches the pro-GMO corporations are preparing to launch a massive PR campaign designed to scare California voters into voting against the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.

It is estimated that they will spend between 60 and 100 million dollars in an attempt to convince California voters that GMOs are perfectly safe. They'll also try to scare voters into the belief that labeling will make food more costly, that it will spark hundreds of lawsuits against small farmers and small businesses, and that it will contribute to world hunger.

The Coalition Against Costly Food Labeling Proposition (CACFLP) runs a website called StopCostlyFoodLabeling.com, giving the impression that this is a group concerned about protecting consumers and their wallets. They refer to the Right to Know GMO Foods Act solely as "The Costly Food Labeling Proposition" and make unsubstantiated claims on their website including:

The initiative would "Ban the sale of tens of thousands of common, perfectly safe grocery products in California unless they are specially repackaged and relabeled just for our state" and "Create a whole new category of frivolous and costly lawsuits that will cost consumers and taxpayers."

The movement

Pamm Larry started the GMO labeling movement in California by simply gathering signatures for a petition. She didn't have any corporate funding or big business connections, she was simply a woman with a clipboard who believed in a cause. That petition gathered nearly a million signatures (nearly double the 504,760 signatures needed under the state's proposition rules) and will therefore be placed on the California ballot this November. Now California's voters will finally have the chance to be heard, as they will vote to pass into law a bill that would require the labeling of all foods containing ingredients from genetically modified crops.

California is just the beginning

California is a trend setting state that represents a big piece of the food market. Food labeling laws that start in California will undoubtedly spread like wildfire. As for the food corporations, it's going to be more costly for them to have separate packaging for California, so they will put up the biggest fight in the beginning and thus this will be the biggest win for the people.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.motherjones.com
http://agroinnovations.com
http://www.huffingtonpost.com
http://www.labelgmos.org/
http://justlabelit.org/
http://www.alternet.org

About the author:
See more health news articles by John McKiernan at The Holistic Truth

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