Food for Thought / GMO

GMO Labeling + Resources

Genetically Modified Organism’s (GMO’s) have made their way into our food, society, and politics.

gmolabelingworldmap1{Via}

GMO is an organism or microorganism whose genetic material has been altered by means of genetic engineering. {Via}

The first GMO crop, FlavrSaver Tomato, was introduced to the market by Monsanto in 1994.

Since then, corn, sugar beets, soy, cotton, papaya, zucchini, summer squash, and canola entered the market.  These crops are made into products including corn syrup, soy leicirhin, canola oil, and added to processed foods.  It is estimated that today, in less than 20 years since GMO’s hit the market, 75-80 percent of conventional foods contain GMO’s. {Via}

Did you know that there haven’t been any safety tests conducted on humans and GMO consumption?

gmo strawberry{Via}

Washington State is standing up to out-of-state corporations like Monsanto, Pepsi, Dupont, to vote for our right to GMO labeling.  These companies against 522 have paid $21.95 million to defeat the initiative.

Yes_on_522_Square_logo

I am hopeful that Washington will vote YES and join Connecticut and Maine in passing the GMO labeling initiative and lead the nation in food transparency.  Sixty-four (64) other nations have GMO labeling regulations; why can’t we?

I support Initiative 522 for five main reasons:

  1. Transparency – I believe I have the right to know what’s in my food
  2. Health – there will be health repercussions from consuming GMO foods and I don’t want to be a science experiment
  3. Farmers – I support local farmers who grow crops sustainably
  4. Economy – Our economic vitality depends on choice and not a world where Monsanto controls crop seeds
  5. Environment – I want to protect the environment which is being heavily poluted with the chemicals required to grow GMO crops

The opposition believes:

  1. Labeling will increase food costs – there is actually no evidence that GMO labeling will affect food prices.  Companies constantly change their labels and have 18 months to make this change if I-522 passes.  European food prices didn’t go up when Europe instituted labeling laws and an independent study reveals that food prices are set by various other factors {such as shopper demographics, brand competition, and store characteristics}, not labeling changes.
  2. Initiative 522 is poorly written and misleading – actually, the initiative is very well thought through and soundly written.  Labeling of some products and not others {like foods purchased at restaurants} is consistent with other US labeling laws {like nutrition facts and organic labeling}.

Farmers like, Jim, at the Ellensberg Farmers market believe that YES on 522 is the first step to stopping Monsanto.

“Voting YES on 522 is the best thing you can do to support small, local, farmers.”

IMG_8690

Whatever happens with Initiative 522, I believe that it is inevitable that the United States will label GMO’s.  The world market will demand it.

I will continue to avoid GMO’s by eating organic foods, avoiding processed foods, and purchasing products with the Non-GMO Project label.

I have found these resources most helpful in my quest to understand GMO’s:

I also can’t wait to see the documentary, GMO OMG!

I plan to be celebrating over a GMO-free dinner with friends on November 5!

How about you?

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