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It’s important to revisit some issues on a regular basis. In the wake of several developments, we’re going to take another look at issue of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our foods and the desperate stonewalling of elected officials and a possibly hoodwinked public from supporting the fundamental right to know about which foods contain GMOs and which do not. GMO labeling has stepped once again into the limelight as worried advocates who have studied this issue have encountered the wealth and power of the massive chemical companies manufacturing genetically modified seeds for planting crops that will forever be modified on the theory that the genes they’ve modified will produce large volumes of profits for both chemical companies and their farmer customers.
Labeling GMO products would seem a simple and responsible step toward gaining the confidence of consumers and such. Of course, no such foods could ever again be considered organic.
So, what’s the big deal?
Well of course, money for the inventors and sellers of chemicals that Monsanto and others peddle modified seeds to millions of farmers who see these additives as boosting yields and profits. But what is there to hide from a public that deserves to know what the hell they’re eating? But why is the public turning down legislative requirements to label such foods, as they did under California’s recent Prop 37 defeat at the ballot box.
One must understand, of course, that with California’s dangerous method of legislating with I&R or initiative and referendum, debating these propositions in the media rather than among elected representatives completely distorts the reality of what one is voting on and the deception often backfires. (See Prop 13 some 40 years ago on school property taxes in that state.)
Monsanto and Dow continue to spend billions on advertising to consumers about the wonderful farm families these GMO seeds support with little or no attention paid to the possible downside. Why spend millions and billions to stop the labeling? If they won’t say, then it can’t be good. Or can it? Well, we don’t know, do we?
The government remains clearly on the side of the modifiers. The FDA’s and the USDA’s attempts at explanations are peppered with encouragement for accepting the benefits of genetic modification. Once again, our regulatory agencies in under the control of the industry they regulate, resulting in a total lack of control over the ethical use of GMOs by the public and an apparent willingness to spend millions keeping it that way.
This is why advocates are back before the legislature this year. They and their organic farmer friends insist that the reason for labeling are many and today we hear about these efforts from our guests.
TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with a legislator, and at least two advocates from disparate locations to explain why this remains at the forefront of the food safety issue.