Consumers’ choice? Food labeling matters
Consider this: agricultural biotechnology has been around commercially only since 1996 when Monsanto began to market a soybean resistant to herbicide. Since then, many more GMO agricultural crops have been developed. The past 17 years have seen an unprecedented 100-fold increase in land planted in biotech crops (www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/briefs/44/pressrelease/). GMO opponents worry, however, that not enough is known about GMOs’ effects on humans, other living species or on the environment, despite assurances from the biotech industry that experts generally regard GE foods and crops as safe.
In our opinion, there is good reason to proceed far more carefully with GMO commodities than their agribusiness/biotech creators want. We worry that this is all a grand experiment, with the end result still unknown, led by companies whose chief interest is in making a quarterly profit for their shareholders and big profits for themselves. We believe that 17 years is not enough to measure long-term health and environmental consequences; more long-term studies are needed. We are offended that the federal “Monsanto Protection Act” will deprive future Americans of due judicial process if later studies show health problems or risks.
Finally, we believe that knowing what is in our food is a right of every eater and that labeling products containing GMO ingredients is the minimum protection that consumers deserve. Americans want to know more, not less, about the food they eat.
If the industry is so sure GMO ingredients are safe, why are they afraid to list them on a label?