Something that has greatly concerned me for many years now is labeling foods that are GMO (genetically modified organisms)/GEs (genetically engineered plants). There is no long-term research that has proven that these are safe for human consumption, and yet the food industry resists labeling.
Corporate seed and plant giant Monsanto is the industry leader in patented seeds and the pioneer of genetically modified crops. They were the first to patent life, as it were. They’ve taken this so far as to bring seed-saving farmers to court, dumping millions into lawsuits that farmers simply can’t fight, bankrupting those unless they roll over and settle.
Monsanto’s “Round Up Ready” foods — they’ve just added and been approved for Round Up Ready alfalfa — are modified to greater resist pests and create higher yields. Sounds like a great idea, right? Nope.
There are to this day no long-term studies performed that can prove whether or not GMO foods have any impact on human and animal health. Some of the primary “Frankenfoods” that you’ll find are soy beans and corn. They simply haven’t been around long enough to determine whether or not they are harmful. And, to me, until those studies have proven that GMOs/GEs don’t do harm to humans and animals, there needs to be GMO/GE labeling on foods.
GMOs and GEs also put organic foods at risk. Cross-contamination has occurred by cross-polination between fields. This also gives Monsanto “reason” to sue farmers for patent violation who don’t purchase their product, despite the natural process of pollination that can’t be helped by human intervention. The food industry is more corrupt than ever.
Food corporations don’t want GMO labeling. They don’t want people to question GMOs. One executive even likened GMO labeling to putting “a skull and crossbones” label on foods that will frighten consumers from buying their products. Doesn’t industry resistance make you feel like they know something that we don’t? Money is king, and they’re scared.
They’re right to be scared. Back in 1995, Monsanto released a pest-resistant potato called the New Leaf Potato. In particular, this potato resisted the attack from its worst enemy, the Colorado potato beetle. Food companies like Frito Lay and McDonalds ate the product up, so to speak. It was a high yield product and farmers loved it. There was a good deal of money to be made. But when consumers got wind of the product, a movement was created to ban the potato from use in foods. McDonalds was the first to bow to consumers, and other food companies followed. Consumer protest and corporate cooperation effectively killed the New Leaf Potato.
Now you can see why food corps are running scared and fighting as hard as possible against GMO/GE labeling.
What You Can Do
Write to your legislator. I just wrote in to New York’s two senators, and will, over time, make my way through all of the US and state reps for New York. And then I’m going to write to the Alaska reps. Find your representatives on USA.gov.
Try to buy organic whenever possible. I know it can be expensive, but if you have a nearby farmers’ market, you can find cheaper organic veggies there. You will not only promote organic farms, but you’ll be boosting your state and local economy.
Whole Foods, while not a perfect company, is great about labeling their produce “conventional” and “organic,” as well as telling you where each fruit and vegetable comes from.
Until scientists can prove that GMOs/GEs have no negative effects on humans and animals, I’m going to keep pushing for labeling.
- We believe that these crops are resulting in significantly higher uses of toxic herbicides and water, creating a new generation of costly “super” weeds.
- Pose severe and irreversible threats to biodiversity and seed stocks.
- Do not live up to the superior yield claims of their patent holders.
- Are unaffordable for small family farmers in the US and around the world.
- We believe that organic farming methods are proving through objective, scientific validation to offer far better solutions.
- We also believe that unrestricted deregulation of GE crops unfairly limits farmer and consumer choice.
Read on to find out more about Stonyfield’s position on GMO/GE foods and the accusation that they are partnering with Monsanto.
- Read More about Round Up Ready Alfalfa, the newest product by Monsanto to get USDA approval.
- Support the Non-GMO project…
- …And find out how to keep GMOs out of your pantry
- Read up and get more info at Organic Consumers Association
- Finally … Contact your state reps and encourage them to label GMO/GE foods.