Although the United States might not yet be willing to disclose GMO ingredients on food product labels, or acknowledge the scientific evidence that demonstrates the serious health effects of ingesting these ingredients, other countries around the world are already taking steps to protect their consumers.
According to Reuters, Bulgaria’s parliament voted on Thursday to tighten a law that effectively banned cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops for scientific and commercial reasons in response to public fears.
A genetically modified organism (GMO, also called “genetically engineered”) is a plant, animal or microorganism (e.g., bacteria) that is created by means which are not naturally occurring. Genetic engineering involves crossing species which could not cross in nature. For example, genes from a flounder (a cold water fish) have been inserted into strawberries and tomatoes to make them less susceptible to cold. Currently 13.3 million farmers- 90 percent of all who farm in developing countries- are currently planting biotech crops.
While the Food and Drug Administration insists that foods produced by genetic engineering are the same as foods from traditional breeding, their own scientists have reported that, “the processes of genetic engineering and traditional breeding are different and… they lead to different risks.”
Reuters reports that, “the protesters and a number of political parties, including some of GERB’s rightist allies in parliament, had said biotech and other industries were behind the planned regime ease and called on the government not to give in to corporate pressure.”
As a result, “there will be no field on the country’s territory where GMOs can be cultivated,” Kostadin Yazov of GERB’s parliamentary group, said.
Although activists and organizations campaigning for sustainable agriculture in the U.S. have made similar pleas to the federal government, there has been no significant move to keep these toxic products from grocery store shelves.
Bulgaria’s chief exports are clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, and fuels.
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