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
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
Libby Lunstrum - Patrick Bond
Militarizing Game Parks and Marketing Wildlife are Unsustainable Strategies
Andy Thayer
More Cops Will Worsen, Not Help, Chicago’s Violence Problem
Louis Yako
Can Westerners Help Refugees from War-torn Countries?
David Rosen
Rudy Giuliani & Trump’s Possible Cabinet
Joyce Nelson
TISA and the Privatization of Public Services
Pete Dolack
Global Warming Will Accelerate as Oceans Reach Limits of Remediation
Franklin Lamb
34 Years After the Sabra-Shatila Massacre
Cesar Chelala
How One Man Held off Nuclear War
Norman Pollack
Sovereign Immunity, War Crimes, and Compensation to 9/11 Families
Lamont Lilly
Standing Rock Stakes Claim for Sovereignty: Eyewitness Report From North Dakota
Barbara G. Ellis
A Sandernista Priority: Push Bernie’s Planks!
Hiroyuki Hamada
How Do We Dream the Dream of Peace Together?
Russell Mokhiber
From Rags and Robes to Speedos and Thongs: Why Trump is Crushing Clinton in WV
Julian Vigo
Living La Vida Loca
Aidan O'Brien
Where is Europe’s Duterte? 
Abel Cohen
Russia’s Improbable Role in Everything
Ron Jacobs
A Change Has Gotta’ Come
Uri Avnery
Shimon Peres and the Saga of Sisyphus
Graham Peebles
Ethiopian’s Crying out for Freedom and Justice
Robert Koehler
Stop the Killing
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: Of Dog Legs and “Debates”
Yves Engler
The Media’s Biased Perspective
Victor Grossman
Omens From Berlin
Christopher Brauchli
Wells Fargo as Metaphor for the Trump Campaign
Nyla Ali Khan
War of Words Between India and Pakistan at the United Nations
Tom Barnard
Block the Bunker! Historic Victory Against Police Boondoggle in Seattle
James Rothenberg
Bullshit Recognition as Survival Tactic
Ed Rampell
A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits
Kristine Mattis
Persnickety Publishing Pet-Peeves
Charles R. Larson
Review: Helen Dewitt’s “The Last Samurai”
David Yearsley
Torture Chamber Music
September 22, 2016
Dave Lindorff
Wells Fargo’s Stumpf Leads the Way
Stan Cox
If There’s a World War II-Style Climate Mobilization, It has to Go All the Way—and Then Some
Binoy Kampmark
Source Betrayed: the Washington Post and Edward Snowden
John W. Whitehead
Wards of the Nanny State
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail