Genetically Engineered Labeling Campaign in the US

28 Nov

Mice with tumors caused by GE Foods

Genetic engineering (GE) is not disclosed on product labels, giving consumers no idea what kind of scientific tinkering has been done to the growing number of food items that use technology to create “better” foods. While consumers are often fooled by generic labeling such as “natural ingredients,” they are also being lead to believe that genetic engineering not only produces a better product but that it can help world hunger. Some of us have seen through the industry’s myths. But, what about the consumers who are not hip to the dangers GE foods are doing to our bodies, minds and environments?

Advocacy for GE labeling has been supported by the organic food industry, consumer groups, health-conscious shoppers, and organizations like Food & Water Watch (FWW). FWW launched a massive campaign in the US to get mandatory GE labeling on all foods in 15 states, including Florida.

According to the New Times, “Food & Water Watch took a hit earlier this month in California when Proposition 37, a ballot measure that would require GE foods to be labeled, was defeated at the polls after a massive infusion of money and advertising by Monsanto and other agribusiness giants. Now the activists are trying the legislative route here in Florida, where they’ve been petitioning and lobbying since September.”

Those working to outreach and educate the public about the importance of our “right to know” what’s in our food, contend that adding to the already detailed information on labels for most processed foods would not put a financial or bureaucratic burden on grocery manufacturers or distributors of fresh produce. So why are Monsanto and other GE giants so scared to allow GE labeling?

Protesters against GMOs blockade a delivery entrance to a Monsanto seed distribution facility in Oxnard, California. Sept 2012

In Florida, over 30 organizations, businesses and elected officials have already signed on to the campaign, including Everglades Earth First! who has been fighting the biotech industry attempted incursions into their swampy watershed for the past several years.

There are currently 50 countries around the world that already require such labels. Most of the European Union, along with Japan, and more recently Russia have banned GE foods entirely. Russia has now officially banned all imports of genetically modified corn, citing concerns from a recent study by French researchers showing rats grew massive cancer tumors when fed a lifetime of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn.

It’s time we take back our right to know and stand united in support of GE labeling, so we can reclaim the fields for our communities.

Newswire post information collected and written by: Nettle, Earth First! Journal Collective

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