The fight against GMO crops and food has been on our radar for a while, but has recently heated up significantly with Proposition 37 being added to this November’s ballot in California. Those of us who live outside of California may question whether this directly affects us, the answer to that: it does. That is the reason why corporations from Monsanto to DuPont to Coca Cola as well as many more have contributed over $25 million dollars to defeat Prop 37 and continue to funnel money toward that cause. They know that if California starts requiring GMO products to be labeled, the rest of country will eventually as well.
These corporations might feign concern for the farmer or the consumer, but their concern is only for their bottom line. Monsanto alone has brought 136 cases of patent infringement against over 400 of the farmers they are so worried won’t be able to grow what they want when they want. Never mind the fact that to organic farmers or those who chose not to plant GMO seed, having these plants that grow from pollen drift is akin to trespassing. Dramatic? Perhaps. But so is accusing the farmers of patent infringement when they have no choice in what “weeds” grow in their fields.
Foods with GMO ingredients are already labeled in over 50 countries. This provides people a choice based on their own food needs and choices and gives the food industry an additional level of transparency of information. This debunks the statement that the record keeping associated with knowing where specific ingredients come from would add undue burden on small farmers. Organic farmers already have to keep meticulous records regarding their growing practices and there are plenty of products available to meet the specific needs of any size farm. There are only perhaps a half a dozen crops grown in California that are grown using GMO seeds. The truth is that there are tens of thousands of products and processed foods that contain GMO ingredients and the real issue that concerns the opponents of Prop 37 is they would have to disclose their ingredient choices.
The overwhelming majority of processed foods in the United States contain GMO ingredients and while the FDA says that there is no scientific proof that genetically engineered food products are safe, but they have done no independent testing and instead believe what the companies themselves are saying: that their tests state have found no adverse affects of GMO ingredients. The FDA is conveniently ignoring the fact that the global scientific community has reached the opposite conclusion: that GMO ingredients are not safe and do present health issues. In fact, one recent study suggests that genetically engineered food products are directly linked to and may be a significant factor in our obesity epidemic. Another one has shown that the GMO components are showing up in pregnant women and newborn babies. How scary is that?
There is a lot of information out there showing how detrimental GMO crops are to our health, to farmers, and how they have not delivered on the promise of increased crop yield. Here is some additional information on genetically modified crops: