I demand the right to know what I am eating. Why should that be such a problem?
For a decade, Monsanto has been selling genetically engineered corn and soybean seeds to farmers. Some has already made its way into processed food and is sold to consumers without any labeling. Shockingly, according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association, an estimated 80% of processed food sold in the U.S. contains GMO ingredients.
Genetically Modified Salmon In Your Local Supermarket
Now, genetically modified (GM) crops are poised to move into supermarket produce sections and farmers markets. The first GM fish, AquAdvantage salmon, which has been engineered with eel genes that grow to maturity twice as fast as normal, could soon be at fish counters.
“FDA should require labeling to insure that any unexpected or unintended effects of engineering this salmon, the first GE animal to request a New Animal Drug Approval, come to FDA attention,” said Dr.Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union. “Recently certain drugs approved by FDA as safe have turned out to have unexpected health effects after they were widely used by consumers. It is essential to label a GE animal so that any unexpected effects will be recognized and consumer health protected.”
The very limited data the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has collected on GM foods mean there is a possibility of increased allergic reactions, and ecologists are worried that if these fish escape from their ocean net pens they could wipe out natural salmon.
Current FDA rules only call for labels for altered food when there is a “material difference” in the product’s end result. The Consumers’ Union disagrees with both FDA’s assertion that genetic engineering itself does not, in and of itself, constitute a “material” difference under the law and also with their definition of what constitutes a “material” difference.
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