Originally published March 26 2011
Rally for the right to know: Educating the masses about GMOs
by Trish Wright
(NaturalNews) On March 26th 2011, social activists and other activist organizations plan to unite at "The Rally for the Right to Know" in Washington, DC., www.facebook.com/rallyfortherighttoknow2011. They will gather before the eyes of law makers to do what the FDA, USDA and other government food overlords refuse to do and what Congress refuses to make them do: educate the public about what they are really eating. By informing passersby about the genetically modified ingredients in their food, they hope newly informed consumers will join their ranks to demand the independent scientific study of and labeling of genetically modified foods, as well as protection for organic farmers from cross contamination and the loss of organic markets.
In conjunction with the rally in DC, rallies are being held in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin. Additional rallies continue to crop up across the US and there is the hope that every state will hold a "Rally for the Right to Know."
The greatest obstacle we face is corporate power and influence, and the lack of transparency created by failing to label these foods. Too few consumers know and understand what "genetically modified" means. Normally, plants obtain their traits through selective breeding and crossing of desired parents. GM takes traits from foreign material (plants, animals, humans, bacteria, viruses) and inserts the new gene into the DNA using laboratory methods.
Although biotech corporations such as Monsanto are granted patents on their genetically modified seeds because they are different, the FDA considers GM foods "substantially equivalent" and does not require food manufacturers to disclose that these ingredients are from genetically modified sources. They are "substantially" different enough to patent, but not to disclose to consumers who trust the FDA to provide them with information about food and to assure their safety. Neither is happening when it comes to GM foods.
Consumers are also unaware of the growing body of evidence that show health and environmental concerns. Because independent studies are not allowed in North America, and biotech corporations don't release their tests due to patent infringement, governments and consumers are unable to see what those exact tests are; only the biotech corporations findings. But new diseases and health issues are continuing to surface, leaving questions as to why GM foods are not examined more carefully. Environmental concerns of GM cross contamination and "volunteer" plants escaping and growing outside of fields and boundaries are also a potential threat to natural habitats and wildlife.
Corporate control of world food and seed supplies, monopolization through patents, and government lobbying are placing corporate interests above human interests on all levels of our government. Consumers have the right to know and choose which foods they eat. Most consumers that know choose NOT to purchase or consume GM foods.
About the author:
Organizer, Rally for the Right to Know
Organizer, Rally for the Right to Know
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