Tuesday, November 22, 2011

GMO Food Labeling...Why Isn't It?

There is a ballot initiative in California to require labeling of genetically engineered (GE or GMO) foods. While there are lots of supporters, there is a consensus that there is not much hope that this initiative will get passed.  There just doesn't seem to be enough consumer awareness of the risks of GMO food or how wide spread GE ingredients are used in the food we all consume.  Why is that?  My husband forwarded me this great article on why GMO foods may not be in the media as much as some of us would like. The author, JD Rucker, did his research and came up with 4 big reasons why it isn't.

The first reason is that there is simply too much information, i.e., information overload.  There are too many other worrisome topics being covered in the news, the loss of jobs, healthcare, the withdrawal of troops and upcoming elections to name but a few.  If GMO food was such a big deal, how come someone isn't screaming about the risks from the roof tops.

Which brings me to his second reason, and to paraphrase the author, if GMO foods are so dangerous, how come people aren't falling over on their soy lattes?  The dangers aren't immediate, but there are many, cancer, fertility issues and food allergies immediately come to mind.  Rucker is right though.  If people were killing over on a regular basis, that would be news. Giving people statistics on research studies and declining health trends does not make an interesting story.

The third reason is that neither the mass media or the US government want to get on the bad side of Monsanto (which is why few are screaming about the risks from the roof tops).  While organizations like Organic Consumers Association are out there battling the giant, with campaigns like "Millions Against Monsanto", there is very little press from the big networks and media outlets.  Rucker found this video that he thinks explains it loud and clear.  It's worth watching.

The final reason why GMO food risks are being ignored is the impact to the cost of our food.  If consumers knew the risks and were no longer willing to purchase 80% of the food in our grocery stores which were now labeled for GMO ingredients, what would happen to the food supply? Governmental officials would have to commit to stronger protection measures with new regulations, farmers would have to go back to traditional growing methods and food prices would soar.

I loved finding this link to an infographic outlining the threats to our food. Click here to see it full size. It takes a fairly complicated subject and makes it easy to understand.

1 comment:

Ella Baker said...

The primary aim of labeling is to inform consumers whether or not a modified microorganism or plant has been included during the production.