GMOs: Are They On Your Grocery List?
By Reno R. Greenidge – Bullock – GMOs are genetically modified organisms created by combinations of genes within plants, animals, bacteria, and viruses, creating an edible product that does not occur naturally or in traditional crossbreeding. Sometimes these GMOs are specially designed to combat certain insects for more robust growing capabilities. Sometimes they are designed to enhance nutritional levels like Vitamin A in rice which is genetically modified to have Vitamin A in the grain. However, unchecked with no regulation or even an honorable mention on packaging is not appropriate for the consumers.
“Most Americans aren’t familiar with GMOs or aware to the extent of their use in food,” explains Joe Dickson, Whole Foods Market’s food, organic, and environmental quality standards coordinator on PR Newswire. “We invite our communities to stop by our stores and learn more about this issue. Together as consumers and retailers, we can make a difference and preserve our access to food produced without international use of GMOs.”
You the consumer should know what are the health benefits of whatever you buy. Without labeling we the consumer have no way of knowing what potential benefits are in a food substance whether is it genetically modified or not. There may be items that we want ot purchase that is genetically modified and there may be times when we don’t want items genetically modified. However we don’t want any corporation or government deciding for us what we should put in our bodies. Not even the members of congress as individuals want that. So why is it so difficult to get proper labeling on these GMOs? Why do we need lobbying groups for GMOs blocking all efforts to allow labeling? Why is there so much scuttle and backdoor deals being done to sneak in orders like HR933 recently called by the media the “Monsanto Protection Act” which prevents consumers from suing a GMO in case of a bad reaction to a product they sell. Yet farmers who are selling unpasterized milk are being arrested? Why is it that TV comedians, like Jon Stewart are able to make jokes about these items but no one in Congress seems to be horrified about these events? The budgets in appropriation bills riding on cliffhanger like “Sequestering” should not be a Trojan coach that hides legislation like HR933. These tactics have allowed Corporations who produce and profit from the sale of GMOs unwarranted protections from the people they are suppose to be serviing? While according to national polls it is estimated that 87% of American voters/consumers want Congress, supposedly our representatives to get labeling of GMO’s done! So let get it done.
Through a project against GMOs called the Non-GMO Project, Whole Foods currently carries more than 800 verified GMO-free products, with many more being created for future release. Labels jutting out from the aisle shelves display the Non-GMO Project tag, marking it a verified product for consumers. This is a step in the right direction, as the fight against the labeling of GMO foods presses on.
Safety Facts according to GMO Awareness:
- Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In 61 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In fact Japan just declined to receive a large shipment of potatoes from the US because they came from a GMO farm in Oregon. See this story: Wheat futures fall after unapproved genetically modified grain is found in a field in Oregon
- GMOs are not labeled, due to a powerful biotech lobby that has succeeded in keeping this information from the public. The Non-GMO project was created because of this, to give consumers the informed choice they deserve.
- In 2008 a CBS News Poll found that 87% of consumers wanted GMOs labeled. And according to a recent CBS/New York Times poll 53% of consumers said they would not buy food that has been genetically modified.
- In the US GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food.
- Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced.
GMOs are genetically modified organisms created by combinations of genes within plants, animals, bacteria, and viruses, creating an edible product that does not occur naturally or in traditional crossbreeding. Sometimes these GMOs are specially designed to combat certain insects for more robust growing capabilities, sometimes they are designed to enhance nutritional levels like Vitamin A in rice which is forced and not a natural vitamin environment. However, unchecked with no regulation or even an honorable mention on packaging, labeling has not been done. Even though 87% of consumers want it, Congress, supposedly our representatives can’t seem to get labeling GMO’s as a legal requirement! Grocery Store Chains like Whole Foods, Byerley’s, Trader Joes’s are joining the Non-GMO Project to make sure their customers know which products contain GMO content by labeling them within their grocery stores. The Non-GMO project lobbying and awareness programs are a step in the right direction for American, and if more companies like Walmart, Targets come on board consumers will finally be able to make informed decisions about the products they buy and consume.
Do you regularly purchase certain grocery brands? Yes or No, tell us in either case? If yes, take the GMO challenge and research your brand, we will love to know why it’s still your favorite.