Do American Families Have a Right to Know What’s In Their Food?
Recently, Facebook has come under fire by the Federal Trade Commission for introducing changes to their products without alerting consumers. As Facebook and the FTC look to reach a settlement, it should be noted that at the same time, agricultural chemical companies are doing the same thing to some of our food products – introducing new characteristics and traits without alerting consumers.
And while the FTC has not yet investigated the recent manipulation of our food supply, a wide-ranging coalition of consumer, public health and environmental organizations, food companies, and individuals are working at the state level to inform consumers.
Last week, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act was submitted to the State Attorney General. The initiative, one that will be duplicated around the nation, requires genetically engineered foods (also known as Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs) and foods containing GMO ingredients to be clearly labeled, similar to current labels with other nutritional information.
Introduced into the United States food supply in the 1990s by agricultural chemical corporations without consumers’ informed consent, these genetically engineered ingredients are pervasive in processed foods and infant formulas, without labels, and yet no studies longer than 90 days have been done on these ingredients.
A genetically engineered food is usually a plant or animal that has had its DNA altered at the molecular level in a lab to include genes that produce foreign compounds from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria. This genetic alteration is not found in nature and cannot occur naturally. Americans currently unknowingly are eating many different genetically engineered foods, because these foods are not required to be labeled.
Fifty countries including the European Union and Japan have laws mandating that genetically engineered foods be labeled, but the United States does not have such a requirement. Public opinion polls indicate that over 90 percent of voters support the labeling of genetically engineered foods.
Efforts to enact labeling laws in Congress and the California legislature have been blocked by big food and chemical company lobbyists. This measure will take the issue directly to the people to decide whether genetically engineered foods should be labeled.
The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act was carefully and specifically written to avoid any unnecessary burden or cost to consumers or producers. California voters are expected to have the chance to vote on the initiative in November 2012. To learn more, please visit http://labelgmos.org/
If you are interested in introducing similar legislation in your state, please contact the team at AllergyKids by leaving a comment below or through our contact form.
To learn more, please visit http://labelgmos.org/ or http://www.justlabelit.org