I try to keep it light here on ye olde blog most of the time, but sometimes there are issues that are too important not to share and this is one of them.
Unless you live under a rock in the Sahara Desert (are there rocks in the desert?) you have probably heard about the controversy surrounding GMOs and the CA Right to Know initiative.
Or perhaps you haven’t.
Perhaps you find current food issues so overwhelming and confusing that you’ve chosen to delicately place your head in the sand and ignore the whole debate entirely. (I can relate. I’ve been there.) Maybe you naively assume that our government has our best interests at heart and these topics aren’t worth worrying about. (I’ve been there too. Until I started reading and got a rude awakening.)
Here are some facts you may not know.
You currently eat genetically modified food.
You may know it, but you do.
A genetically engineered (GE) food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature. Today, as much as 85% of corn in the U.S. is genetically engineered. This corn is found in countless processed foods such as cereals, baby foods, breads, chips, and many other products. Currently, the majority of GE crops are designed for one purpose: to withstand greater amount of pesticides.
Why should you care?
Well, that’s a good question. I’m glad you asked.
The risk of genetically engineered foods is unclear. Unlike the strict safety evaluations required for the approval of new drugs, the safety of genetically engineered foods for human consumption is not adequately tested. Studies show that genetically engineering food can create new, unintended toxicants and increase allergies and other health problems.
Without proper labeling, how can we identify any adverse health reactions that these foods may cause????
Much of the World Already Requires Labeling for Genetically Engineered Foods
50 countries with over 40% of the world’s population already label genetically engineered foods. Even China labels genetically engineered foods.
I don’t know about you, but that gives me pause. Why are other civilized countries more stringent with their food regulations than we are?
You see, we take a different approach here in the States to food safety issues. We’ve taken the “prove it’s NOT safe” strategy, whereas in Europe they say “you need to prove it IS safe” before they put a product on the shelf.
Read more about the health risks of GE foods. It is true that we don’t know the extend of the health implications of eating genetically modified foods, but I am sure of one thing. We have a right to know what is in our food.
That is the purpose of the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.
The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act is simple: The initiative would simply require food sold in retail outlets to be labeled if it is genetically engineered, or if it contains genetically engineered ingredients.
We have not always labeled foods with calorie or nutritional value, or allergen information, but we do now, and most consumers use this information every day to make informed choices in the supermarket. The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act simply requires food producers to identify ingredients that are genetically engineered on the ingredients label.
The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act is intended to have no cost impact on consumers or food producers. It simply requires that genetically engineered ingredients be disclosed on food packaging or labels on store shelves for GE foods such as sweet corn or salmon.
This is why I have joined Leah Segedie and the GMO Evangelists in support of the CA Right to Know initiative. I am not being compensated for my participation in any way. I just believe strongly in this cause.
We are not asking anyone to ban genetically engineered foods (although it would be nice, wouldn’t it??) At this point, I will settle to simply see them labeled so I can make informed choices — so everyone can make informed choices. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask in the land of the free and the home of the brave, but evidently it is because efforts to enact labeling laws in Congress and the California legislature have been blocked by big food and chemical company lobbyists.
This initiative will take the issue directly to the people.
How You Can Help
If you agree that GMOs should be labeled, help by spreading the word. As Leah says:
Prop. 37 is enlisting the help of bloggers all over the United States and Canada to help educate everyone about the opportunity we have RIGHT NOW in November. If we can change the labeling laws in California we may be changing labeling all over the United States in the process.
Like CA Right To Know on Facebook so you can stay up to date with the latest news and information.
If you are a blogger, you can join the Official LabelGMOs Blogger Team and sign up to be a GMO Evangelist so you receive updates and information to share with your audience.
Let’s not take this sitting down. Join us in fighting for our right to know.