There’s a lot of talk right now in homes, government offices and corporate executive meetings around the topic of GMOs: genetically modified organisms. What is a GMO? Simply defined as it relates to this discussion, these are foods or ingredients like corn, where science has modified the genes from the way that nature made them. This is food grown from the lab, not the earth.
With election day just around the corner, California has a monumental proposition on the table that could potentially have significant impact on our food system. California prop 37, also termed “Right to Know” would make it mandatory for growers and food manufacturers to identify whether their food is genetically modified or contains genetically modified ingredients; it does not ban genetically modified food.
The main cause for all the hype is due to the millions of dollars being spent by corporations like Monsanto and big ag to fight this proposition. Their fear is that labeling food as genetically modified or containing genetically modified ingredients will deter people from buying it and hurt their profits. The dairy farmers had the same concern when Americans wanted milk labeling to identify whether the cows had been treated with hormones.
What’s wrong with GMOs?
There’s a lot of controversy around GMOs, ranging from whether it’s ethical for scientists to change the genetic makeup of food and organisms, whether foods that are genetically modified are safe to eat, and whether the science behind GMOs can help us meet future problems of global hunger.
But California proposition 37 isn’t about the safety, ethics or future potential of GMOs. It’s about whether or not Americans have the right to know the origin of our food.
Prop 37 Doesn’t Throw Out The Baby or The Bath Water
It’s not about banning GMOs like other countries such as France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland and others have done due to potential health risks.
The reality is that there isn’t enough science proving the human safety of GMOs and many parents don’t want their children to participate in the science experiment that proves them safe, or dangerous. What does exist is enough science to suggest GMOs might not be best for human consumption, which has led these countries to place the ban.
But, let’s not forget that California proposition isn’t about a ban. It’s about labeling. It’s about our right to know where our food comes from (the science lab or the earth). It’s about transparency and truth.
Show Me The Money
It’s also about profits and dollars. Those corporations like Monsanto who are spending millions to fight prop 37 are claiming that the production of new labels will be costly and increase prices on the supermarket shelves.
I say, baloney!
Food manufacturers change their packaging frequently and put up no fight when they wiggled their way out of mandatory front-of-labeling laws from the government by approving self-proposed voluntary labeling guidelines two years ago.
The real bottom line: They are fearful people will choose products free of GMOs if they have access to the information. What’s that saying about there being power in information?
Do you want to know if your food contains genetically modified ingredients? Here’s what you can do.
- If you live in California, please carefully read about the pros and cons of California proposition 37. Look at who is supporting both sides in the infographic below.
- If you don’t live in California, educate someone else. Share this article with a friend who lives in California.
- Use the guide found here for shopping the grocery store more informed about what brands and foods are verified free of GMOs.
- Eat real, whole foods. Cook from scratch. Grow your own organic foods if you can. Get to know your local farmer or grower.
- Let your local government officials know that you have the right to know where your food comes from and want GMOs labeled in your state. Start a revolution right at home!
A lot of people aren’t aware of GMOs, what they are and why this issue is worth knowing about so please help this message spread by sharing this with friends and family.