FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Ongoing Battle Over GMOs and Food Safety

by CARMELO RUIZ-MARRERO

The battle for safe food is not over, despite the defeat in California.

California’s Proposition 37, which would have made it mandatory to label foods containing ingredients from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), was narrowly defeated on Nov. 6 as a result of a $46 million fear-mongering propaganda campaign funded mainly by the biotechnology and food-processing industries.

These engineered foods have never been demonstrated to be necessary or safe, and scientific studies not funded by industry consistently find in them safety problems with serious implications for human health. That’s why they are essentially banned in the European Union.

Some argued that the California measure was unnecessary because organic GMO-free foods are labeled as such, and therefore consumers can simply choose to buy those. But such a libertarian argument falls from its own weight, given that polls show that the great majority of U.S. consumers are unaware that there are vast amounts of GMO foods out there.

Surveys show that Americans would avoid GMO foods if these were labeled. An ABC News poll showed that 93 percent of Americans want GMO foods labeled.

But Monsanto, DuPont, Pepsi and Kellogg scared a small majority of voters into falsely believing that labeling genetically modified products would raise food prices.

Big Food and Big Biotech are celebrating their California victory, but the fight is not over – not by a long shot.

Even as Proposition 37 was being defeated on Nov. 6, the voters of Washington state’s San Juan County voted to prohibit the planting of GMO crops. And unfazed by the defeat in California, Washington residents are now busy gathering the 320,000 required signatures for a statewide referendum on GMO labeling.

Additionally, consumer rights groups are working for labeling in 30 states and have united as the Coalition of States for Mandatory GMO Labeling.

At the national level, a petition to Congress demanding the countrywide labeling of GMOs has received more than 52,000 signatures. A similar petition by http://JustLabelit.org addressed to the Food and Drug Administration has more than 1.2 million signatories.

As more and more Americans become concerned about what’s in their food, the popular demand for labeling genetically modified organisms will only grow louder.

Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero is a Puerto Rican author, journalist and environmental educator.

This article was prepared for The Progressive Media Project.

Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero is a Puerto Rican journalist.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
Andrew Stewart
Did Gore Throw the 2000 Election?
Vincent Navarro
Is the Nation State and Its Welfare State Dead? a Critique of Varoufakis
John Wight
Syria’s Kurds and the Wages of Treachery
Lawrence Davidson
The New Anti-Semitism: the Case of Joy Karega
Mateo Pimentel
The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism?
Roger Annis
In Northern Syria, Turkey Opens New Front in its War Against the Kurds
David Swanson
ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders
Norman Pollack
American Exceptionalism: A Pernicious Doctrine
Ralph Nader
Readers Think, Thinkers Read
Julia Morris
The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation
George Wuerthner
Caving to Ranchers: the Misguided Decision to Kill the Profanity Wolf Pack
Ann Garrison
Unworthy Victims: Houthis and Hutus
Julian Vigo
Britain’s Slavery Legacy
John Stanton
Brzezinski Vision for a Power Sharing World Stymied by Ignorant Americans Leaders, Citizens
Philip Doe
Colorado: 300 Days of Sunshine Annually, Yet There’s No Sunny Side of the Street
Joseph White
Homage to EP Thompson
Dan Bacher
The Big Corporate Money Behind Jerry Brown
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
DNC Playing Dirty Tricks on WikiLeaks
Ron Jacobs
Education for Liberation
Jim Smith
Socialism Revived: In Spite of Bernie, Donald and Hillary
David Macaray
Organized Labor’s Inferiority Complex
David Cortright
Alternatives to Military Intervention in Syria
Binoy Kampmark
The Terrors of Free Speech: Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act
Cesar Chelala
Guantánamo’s Quagmire
Nyla Ali Khan
Hoping Against Hope in Kashmir
William Hughes
From Sam Spade to the Red Scare: Dashiell Hammett’s War Against Rightwing Creeps
Raouf Halaby
Dear Barack Obama, Please Keep it at 3 for 3
Charles R. Larson
Review: Paulina Chiziane’s “The First Wife: a Tale of Polygamy”
David Yearsley
The Widow Bach: Anna Magdalena Rediscovered
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail