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.
Consumers Demand To Know The Truth
A 2010 Thomson Reuters PULSE Healthcare Survey, “National Survey of Healthcare Consumers: Genetically Engineered Food” showed that 93% of Americans believe GE foods should be labeled. Labeling is required in countries including the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Brazil and China.
Why not the United States of America? Isn’t 93% a big enough number to matter?
On November 10, 2007, then Senator Barack Obama, at a rural summit with more than 400 Iowa farmers and activists from across the country present, recognized America’s right to know what’s in their food and pledged to label genetically modified food when elected. He stated, “Here’s what I’ll do as President. I’ll immediately implement Country of Origin Labeling because Americans should know where their food comes from. And we’ll let folks know whether their food has been genetically modified because Americans should know what they’re buying.”
Yet, on the contrary, the FDA says that no genetically foods need to be labeled. I disagree. We have a right to know what we are eating and we should be able to choose whether or not to try these newfangled foods.
Take Action Now!
If you agree with me, please click here to urge FDA Commissioner Hamburg to require labeling of all genetically engineered food. And thanks for taking action.
Photo Credit: MillionsagainstMonsanto