Since the early 1990’s there have been genetically modified organisms in our food. GMOs – short for genetically modified organisms – are man-made organism created in a laboratory and patented by a corporation or the USDA. GMOs are created by a process called genetic engineering. Many people have been asking for required labeling of GMO food, as already exists in thirty other countries. And there are a growing number of countries, like Ireland, Japan and Egypt that have completely banned the cultivation of GMO crops.
GMOs are not created the same way as traditional cross-breeding. Traditional cross-breeding is creating natural hybrids, such as crossing two varieties of roses, different types of squashes, or different breeds of dogs or cats. GMOs are made by actually splicing a gene from a virus or another species into the GMO seed. Some examples are, fish genes being spliced into tomatoes, human genes in corn, mouse genes in potatoes.
Since the 1990’s, people have been asking for GMO food to be labeled. We’ve been asking the USDA, the FDA, our legislators and the courts. They are not listening, and it’s time for us to speak for ourselves.
If you live in California, there is a Ballot Initiative in the works for the 2012 election. This proposition would require labeling on all GMO foods in the state of California. The website is http://www.LabelGMOs.org and there’s a Facebook page as well, Label GMOs.
Why avoid GMO foods and why do we want them labeled? Scientists warn that GMO foods may set off allergies, increase cancer risks, produce antibiotic-resistant pathogens, damage our food quality and produce dangerous toxins in our environment. GMO fed animals had higher death rates and organ damage in scientific studies.
GMOs will increase the risk of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria due to the use of antibiotic resistant genes in GM food. The British Medical Association cited this as one reason why they called for a global moratorium or ban on GM foods.
GMO crops cross-pollinate: Canadian organic farmers can no longer grow canola and soybean crops organically. The seed stocks of those two crops are now totally contaminated by GMOs, which cross-pollinate into other market garden crops from the brassica family, such as kale, cabbage and broccoli. The recent deregulation of GMO alfalfa is particularly concerning as Alfalfa is a high cross pollinator, which means it can cross pollinate – and contaminate – many other plants.
It will be a few months before we can volunteer to gather signatures but there are many ways to get involved now. If you would like to be part of the Label GMO campaign you can visit the website, spread the word, volunteer to gather signature in the fall and/or donate. You will be coming together with other parents, farmers, doctors, scientists and food activists who are demanding our right to know what’s in our food.
This is an exciting time.
It’s time to for us to join together and legislate labeling of all GMO food.
We have a right to know!
Read more, great Monday Mania posts here: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/2011/07/monday-mania-7252011/
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Read more, great Pennywise Platter Thursday posts here: http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2011/07/pennywise-platter-thursday-728.html
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