Originally published January 24 2012
Help support the GMO labeling campaign in California
by Tara Green
(NaturalNews) 2012 could be the beginning of the end for Frankenfoods in the US as GMO's could lose their ability to operate by stealth in at least in one state. Californians may vote later this year on whether to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food and food ingredients.
New initiative would be first-ever US restriction of GMO'sA grassroots coalition of health, environmental and consumer organizations filed papers last fall with the California Attorney General's office to place a citizen's initiative on the ballot late in 2012. If the measure is successful, California would be the first state to adopt mandatory GMO labeling laws.
Success in the Golden State may inspire food activists elsewhere in the US.
Consumers have no choice but to boycott GMO's, and the labeling requirements will have a serious impact on the bottom line of companies who have invested heavily in creating these pseudo-foods, such as Monsanto. Predictably, these multinational corporations are spending some of the mega-millions they make on sales to uninformed consumers to defeat the California ballot initiative.
GMOs viewed with suspicious in other countriesThe US has been slower than some other nations to restrict GMO's, largely because of the FDA's willingness to accept Monsanto's assurances that their laboratory concoctions are safe to eat. Ireland banned the growing of GMO crops in 2009 and uses a GMO-free label for animal products including meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, fish and crustaceans, which are raised with feed free of GMOs. Japan also does not grow any GMO food and limits the import of such foods from nations, including the US, Australia and Canada, which grow them. France requires that products containing more than 0.9 percent genetically modified ingredients indicate GM content on their labels. Worldwide, fifty countries have some form of restriction on GMO's, but so far, the US has been wide open to this dangerous form of food experimentation.
As much as 85% of all the corn currently grown in the US contains modified genes -- most of them from Monsanto. Although the corporation has claimed that GMO's will end hunger worldwide, prices for their corn have steadily climbed. The two most common genetically engineered traits are an insecticide in the tissue of "Bt Corn" and a compound in "Roundup Ready Soy" which enables high doses of Monsanto's RoundupR weed killer to be sprayed while the plant survives. BT Corn is currently regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency as an insecticide.
GMO's untested -- consumers become guinea pigsGMO foods were not sufficiently tested prior to their release on an unsuspecting populace. Serious questions have been raised about the scientific validity of the in-house studies run by GMO manufacturers which were accepted by the FDA as proof of safety. Independent studies have shown possible links between genetically modified foods and allergies, cancer risks and a host of other health problems. Labeling genetically engineered food will help pinpoint their effects on consumer health. "Because the FDA has failed to require labeling of GMO food, this initiative closes a critical loophole in food labeling law. It will allow Californians to choose what they buy and eat and will allow health professionals to track any potential adverse health impacts of these foods," says Andy Kimbrell, Director of the Center for Food Safety.
By taking the issue directly to the people, the California measure stands a good chance of becoming law. Public opinion polls show that more than 90 percent of California voters support GMO labeling. Previous efforts to pass labeling laws have been stalled due to the influence of big food and chemical company lobbyists. The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act was carefully written to avoid any unnecessary burden or cost to consumers or producers. California voters are expected to vote on the initiative in November 2012.
"These genetically engineered foods have been allowed into our food supply without warning, and they aren't labeled," says Pamm Larry, founder of the grassroots movement and the Committee for the Right to Know. "The bottom line is Californians have a right to know what's in the food we eat and feed our children. It's time to send a strong, direct message to those who govern us, whether they be agency or elected, that we want genetically engineered foods labeled."
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