My mother always taught me to trust my gut. When things don’t seem right or “don’t add up” it is my internal signal to move away. It was a signal to not trust whatever’s presented or to flee from the situation. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or genetically modified crops or food make everything within my instinct (my gut) say not good, problematic and terrifying. I had not heard of GMOs until a few months ago. Though I was alarmed by their common day existance, I wasn’t surprised. My complacenty is unacceptable. I need to be proactive to protect myself and the ones I love from potential long-term harm. We should not experiment with our bodies and our planet.
A genetically modified food is one that has lab-replicated genes from other animals or plants in order to give the food new characteristics. New characteristics could be a number of things like resistance to insects or drought. Taking genes from one species and putting in another is sometimes referred to as Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM) – they are one and the same – and the process was introduced in the early 90s. Basically, it mutates your food. More information about what GMOs are can be found here and information on why they should be avoided is here.
GMOs are in 80% of our processed food. Unless the packaged is labled organic or specifically labled non-GMO, they are likely present. Like the Dirty Dozen, there are the Top 8 DM food crops. They are: corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, sugarbeets, Hawaiian papaya and some zucchini and yellow squash. A Shopping Guide can be found here to help you navigate away from GM products. Certified organic food cannot intentionally include GM ingrediants. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have banned GM ingrediants from their house brands.
Countries – including Japan, Austrialia, and the entire European Union – have banned or severly restricted GM crops.Many of these same countries require food labels to state if the product contains GMOs. However, the United States is not one of them. 1992 the FDA rules there’s no “material” difference between traditional and GM crops and the way it is produced doesn’t make a material difference. Many feel like labeling food appropriately, listing if they contain GMOs or not, is a simple solution to educate consumers of what they’re consuming and allowing them to make the choice of whether to eat the product. Prevention has petitioned the FDA for the “Just Label It” campaign. The petition states the following:
I am writing to urge the FDA to require the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. I have a right to know about the food I eat and what I feed my family.
In America, we pride ourselves on having choices and making informed decisions. Under current FDA regulations, we don’t have that choice when it comes to GE ingredients in the foods we purchase and feed our families. Labeling is essential for me to choose whether or not I want to consume or feed my family genetically engineered foods.
Genetically engineered foods are required to be labeled in 15 European Union nations, Russia, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries around the world. As an American, I firmly believe I should also have the right to know if my foods have been genetically engineered.
A recent poll released by ABC News found that 93 percent of the American public wants the federal government to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. As ABC News stated, “Such near-unanimity in public opinion is rare.”
I hope you will listen to me and the other 93 percent of the American public who want mandatory labeling. Please show your support for the interests of the American people by labeling genetically engineered foods.
You can sign it here. I hope you do.