I have long been concerned about the high prevalence of genetically modified or GM food in our food supply. For someone who avoids food grown with herbicides and pesticides, the idea of changing the genes in a plant so that it produces pesticides on their own, just doesn't seem like a good way to go.
I am hardly alone in that concern, which is why 87 percent of Americans say that they support the labeling of GM foods. With studies showing that pesticides associated with GM foods are found in the blood of pregnant woman and their babies, and new studies questioning GM food safety, there is more interest in getting GM foods labeled.
A coalition of farms and NGOs are working to get a measure on the November ballot that would require the labeling of GM foods in California. In the past, those in the food industry have fiercely opposed similar ballots. It is not surprising, because as soon as GM food are labeled on products in the store, sales may plummet for brands whose products contain GM ingredients. Organic sales might be expected to rise.
This measure in California could be the start of a good thing. One of the campaign's slogans is, "It's our right to know." I think that sums it up beautifully. If you don't think that GM foods are a problem, you have complete freedom to buy GM-labeled foods. The point is this; we have the right to know what is in our food.
Food companies and the large farms that grow GM crops are more concerned about keeping their business afloat than the individual impact GM foods could have on our health. They have an invested interest in keeping consumers in the dark about which products contain GM foods. It is a pitiful example of our democracy that such a high number of Americans support the labeling of GM foods, yet it's not a reality — yet.
I am hopeful that the groups are able to get this measure on the ballot, and I am hopeful that if it passes, it will create a chain reaction with other states eventually passing similar measures.
It is time for Americans to make their opinions heard.
Want to know more about this topic? Read on:
- Why Aren't G.M.O. Foods Labeled? By Mark Bittman
- Label GMOs, website for the grassroots movement to get GM foods labeled in California
- Californian campaign pushes for labeling of GM food