A RIGHT TO KNOW

January 4, 2012

Ok, I don’t usually use my blog as a “bully pulpit” but I think this is important.

Everyone should have the right to know what is in the food they are buying and feeding to themselves and their families.  Right now in California and across the States there are groups organizing to make the labeling of GMOs – Genetically Modified Organisms – mandatory on packaging.  At this stage, what we’re (yes, I’m part of this) trying to do is get these propositions onto the November ballot.  To do that there will soon be folks out collecting signatures that will qualify the initiative to go into the election and give us, the people, an opportunity to choose between knowing or not knowing what is in our food.

A genetically engineered food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered by genes of other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria.  This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature – it’s not like cross breeding tomatoes in the greenhouse.  Currently the health risks of genetically engineered foods are unclear as in the United States the FDA doesn’t require any safety testing or health studies on these foods.  However, in a 2011 Canadian study, researchers found that of 93% of pregnant women tested, their blood contained a toxin found in a genetically engineered corn that produces its own pesticide (Bt corn).

Much of the world already requires this labeling – 50 countries with over 40% of the world’s population label GMOs, including China.  This initiative would simply require food sold in retail outlets in California to label the product if it is genetically modified or contains genetically engineered ingredients.

In California we need to collect 850,000 signatures by April 15.  That sounds like a lot, but when you think about the size of our State and population it’s not that much of an obstacle.  To find out more information and how you may be able to help go to www.labelgmos.org

If you need to find out more about GMOs take a look at the following sites and/or films:

The Future of Food – great film documentary

Institute for Responsible Technology                                                

Organic Consumers Association

 Robyn O’Brien’s TED Talk

Everything You Have to Know About Dangerous GM Foods  (this is long – about 85 minutes, but worth it)

 

So that’s it.  Educate yourselves and please – sign the petition!

Rob

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