Did you know that since 1994, when genetically modified foods first hit supermarket shelves, Americans do not have the right to know if the food we eat is genetically modified? We are the only industrialized nation that does not require labeling of genetically modified foods, or ingredients in our food! How can this be? Fact is that 93 percent of all soy, 86 percent of corn, and 93 percent of canola seeds are now genetically modified, yet there is no mention of this on our food. Many tomatoes, plums, papaya, alfalfa and sugar beets are also genetically modified.
Almost 50 other countries across this fine blue planet have banned or placed restrictions on GM foods, but not America! Why are we so special?
Study after study shows the harmful effects of GM foods on farm and laboratory animals. We put these animals through extensive studies to determine if the thing (food) being studied is safe for the subject- and humans.Well guess what? A recent study published in “Food and Chemical Toxicology” showed that rats fed a diet of GM corn or given water containing Roundup (in amounts considered safe in drinking water ) suffered tumors, organ damage and death. Other outcomes with farm animals and other species included altered metabolism, profuse inflammation, kidney and liver malfunction, reduced fertility and infertility.
Right now, on California’s November ballot is Proposition 37,The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act".
If passed, it will be our country's first mandatory GMO labeling law. Hopefully after it passes, many more states will follow. I want to know what is really in the food I am eating, do you? Why is there so much opposition to labeling by those who support and manufacture GM foods? If the companies who manufacture these foods claim that the food is safe- then why won’t they label it and let us know? If it is safe, as they claim, then label it and let us decide if we want arctic flounder genes in our strawberries or human genes in our rice. I am a vegetarian, and I want neither!
The following 8 reasons why Proposition 37 must pass is direct text from Organic Consumers Association.
1. GMOs have never been proven safe. The FDA conducts no independent testing of GMOs, but instead claims that they are "not substantially different" from non-GMO foods.
2. The biotech industry is not required to conduct long-term safety studies on GMOs, and it keeps researchers from conducting those tests by claiming the right to protect its patented seeds and technologies.
3. GMOs are everywhere. Today, most non-organic US corn, soy, cotton and sugar beets - which are used in most of the sweeteners and additives used by food processors - are genetically engineered. So is the feed fed to the animals you eat. In fact, 75 - 85% of the processed food in your grocery store contains unlabeled GMOs.
4. The companies who want you to believe GMOs are safe are the same ones who lied to you about Agent Orange and DDT.
5. GE crops are responsible for super weeds and super bugs, soil degradation, and lack of diversity - which makes crops and humans more
susceptible to disease.
6. The only folks who don't want you to know what's in your food are huge corporations like Monsanto, Dow AgriScience, BASF and food conglomerates like Pepsi and Coca-Cola - who along with other biotech, pesticide and processed food manufacturers have donated nearly $33 million to defeat Prop 37.
7. This is our best - and perhaps only - shot at labeling GMOs and ending Monsanto's monopoly of our food supply and destruction of our health and environment. Nineteen other states have tried - and failed - to get a GMO labeling law through the state legislative process. Prop 37 takes GMO labeling direct to the voters so Monsanto's lobbyists can't kill it.
8. If this law passes in California, food manufacturers have admitted that it may as well be a national law. They won't want to put 'this product contains GMOs’ on their labels, so they will reformulate their products. And if they reformulate for California, they may as well do it for all of their products.
Until we are given the right to know what is in our food, here are a few ways you can try to make the choices you feel are best for yourself and your family.
(1) Buy organic. No guarantees here- but many organic products do not contain GMOs. (2) Look for the "Non-GMO Project Verified" seal. This may be hard to find- but it’s worth a shot. (3) For supplements and vitamins, first go to nongmoproject.org to find products that don’t contain GMOs. (4) Reduce your intake of corn, soy, canola oil, cottonseed oil, and sugar… (Good luck with that-if you read the label-you will find that corn is in almost everything!) (5) Although I don’t have an iPhone, I hear there is an app “ShopNoGMO” you can download. (6) Go online to nongmoshoppingguide.com to find products that do not contain GM ingredients.
Please pass this on to anyone you know who eats food-especially people who live in California who can vote YES to Proposition 37.