GMO Labeling Momentum Grows

GMO Soybeans

Slow but steady progress is being made to require the labeling of genetically modified ingredients in our groceries. A bipartisan group of senators and representatives has introduced the  Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act so that consumers can make informed choices about what they eat.

It’s no surprise that Senator Barbara Boxer (D) of California is a co-sponsor of the bill. In November, California would have been the first state to mandate such labeling, had it not been for a last minute, multi million dollar campaign financed by Monsanto and junk food companies to scare consumers into believing GMO labeling would raise food prices. Monsanto has the largest stake in GMO success, having patented seeds for GMO corn and soy, and raking in billions in profits every year from their sale to farmers.

The fact is that 90% of the public would like to know if their food contains GMOs or not. Our stance on the matter is that labeling should be a no-brainer. Whether GMOs are safe or not is a matter of ongoing scientific debate. There are too many questions left unanswered, and no long term safety studies either.

Meanwhile, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has finally set up a committee to discuss the science of GMOs before publishing a position paper. The seven strong committee of dietitians and scientists counts 2 members with ties to Monsanto. Oops.

  • James Cooper

    Considering how proudly you point out the science behind other food ingredients, it is very disappointing that you continue to flog this “zombie idea” that GMOs are in any way harmful. This has never been demonstrated and in fact there are hundreds of papers to the contrary.
    Further the “90% of Americans want labeling” canard comes from dishonest push polling. If Americans are asked what additional facts they want on food labels, GMOs come in at about 3%.

    The costs of keeping track of supply chains leading to actual GMO labeling will be very high indeed and Americans will not be willing to pay for it.
    If the small minority to whom this foolishness is important, the “organic” label already gives them that information. There is no need for any new legislation.

    • Fooducate

      As usual James you miss the point, and to some extent disinform.
      There are no long term studies on GMO safety. Virtually all of the reports purported to show GMO is safe are funded by industry. Don’t scare us with price increases, the food industry said the same when nutrition labeling was introduced 22 years ago. Prices did not go up.

    • al

      James why is it that the hormones and pesticides used on our plants and animals are not safe to breathe but they are safe to ingest?

  • James Cooper

    Yes, there are plenty of long term studies and they are peer reviewed so their funding source is irrelevant. This is the argument of the anti-GMO crowd, not of science.

    • Fooducate

      There are no long term studies on humans. Peer reviewed studies financed by the industry tend to favor industry positions. This has been affirmed in a peer reviewed study:

      • James Cooper

        There is no need for, or value in testing the safety of GM foods in humans. So long as the introduced protein is determined safe, food from GM crops determined to be substantially equivalent is not expected to pose any health risks. Further, it is impossible to design a long-term safety test in humans, which would require, for example, intake of large amounts of a particular GM product over a very large portion of the human life span. There is simply no practical way to learn anything via human studies of whole foods. This is why no existing food–conventional or GM–or food ingredient/additive has been subjected to this type of testing.

        • Fooducate

          So what you are saying is “We can’t run long term GMO safety tests on humans –> therefore the only logical conclusion is that GMOs are safe”.
          Makes no sense at all.
          Until we figure out GMO safety, let’s label them, shall we?

          • James Cooper

            No food studies are EVER run on humans. You are speaking nonsense. They are run at higher dosages on animals. No IRB would ever approve that on humans. This is an utterly specious argument.

  • Holly Amber Terrell

    Yea keep telling people gmos are healthy that is terrible!