Hello Beautiful Readers! Sorry I have been mia lately this thing called life just gets in the way. Anyway so my current journalism assignment I had to write an article on an issue. Well you know the social justice in me is like I could come up with thousands lol and I picked GMO labeling of foods. Now I am totally for labeling of GMOs (I wanna know what I’m eating) but in this article I had to be objective and see both sides so that is why I put some good and some bad up in there. Anyway hope you learn something from all my hard research.
Ok well read on and talk to you next time and remember even if you haven’t been in touch with someone in a long time contact them sometime because you never know when they will be out of your life forever. On a happier note though my birthday was 2 weeks ago I am now 23! Yay baby! Oh and I share the day with Amy Jo Johnson the original pink Power Ranger in Mighty Morphin. Cool right? (I am such a nerd haha) 😉
GMO labeling might seem like a light issue compared to all the hot button issues out there today like climate change, ISIS and Ebola. To others this is an important issue that impacts millions of Americans each day. Now if you have never heard of GMOs before then you might be wondering what it is, and what all the fuss is about.
A GMO or GE food genetically modified/engineered organism according to Label GMOs.org, is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, in order to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature, and is experimental. GM Education.org says that genetically modifying has been done to plants, food and other organisms all through history. It started from the 1860s with Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel the fathers of genetics and then in the 1970s Stanley Cohn, Herbert Boyer, and Annie Chang created the first genetically modified DNA organism. Then in the early 1980s, scientist started to make GM plants and in the early 1990s China becomes the first country to start selling GM crops. As we can now see genetically modified foods and organisms have been popping up more and more in the turn of the 21st century especially with the big corporations like Monsanto in control of more than half of the world’s crop supply.
So GMOs might have been around a while, but what are the pros and cons to having GMO foods? According to Dr. Keith Kantor Sc.D., PhD some pros of having GMOs are, helping farmers, feeding third world countries, making food taste better and using little to no pesticides so it is environmentally friendly. On the other hand he says that some of the cons of GMOs are, one the genic plant could escape into the wild and make super plants that can make killing off bacteria on plants harder to kill. Another con of GMOs are the antibacteria in GMO foods can work against the antibacterials people take when there sick. He also says one of the biggest cons of GMOs is that there is not enough long term testing done to see if they are dangerous or not.
GMOs might seem like kind of a complicated issue but why are people so for or against labeling them in our grocery stores? Well first we would have to explore what labeling GMOs really means. Labeling GMOs basically means that when you go into a grocery store that just like you would see a label on a food product saying “all natural” or “containing no GMOs” you would also see on a GMO product a sticker saying “containing GMOs” or listing the different GMO ingredients on the package. Now this has been a hot button issue for many years especially in the past couple as the Farm Bill was going through legislation. There have been many states that have bills where they have tried to vote for GMO labeling and many Congress people and big cooperates who have retailed against it. According to Professor Don Huber at Perdue University, “labels are changed regularly for marketing purposes and to comply with a multitude of regulations. Labeling is about LIABILITY for the companies since so much food and feed is contaminated now that there isn’t a clean “control” group. With real health issues at stake, labeling provides a way for the consumer to direct their dollars as well as health.”
One example of this is in Vermont where earlier this year in June, they almost became the first state in the US to pass a law to be able to label GMOs in the state but are currently still in a court settlement and if the bill is fully pasted it won’t go into effect until 2016. As of right now other states like Oregon, Colorado, Washington State and Virginia are also fighting to get the GMO labeling law passed.
Now another issue to consider is how much labeling GMOs will cost to big corporations, legislators and consumers alike. According to a chart produced by Cornell University in New York, the average cost of labeling GMOs is 6.3 million a year. On the other hand in Oregon, ECONorthwest on behalf of Consumer Union are saying, that it wouldn’t cost more than $2.30 annually or a penny a day per consumer.
With all of this information being presented is it good or not good to label GMO foods? Some people say this issue doesn’t matter that it is just a liberal issue, when in fact an article on Forbs.com says that the top leading scientist and liberal news outlets have opposed GMO labeling. “The pro-labeling arguments, they say, boil down to two deceptive talking points: GMOs may be unsafe and are untested—the Frankenfood argument; and GMOs are part of a corporate plot to monopolize the food system—the Argumentum Monsanto,” according to science writer Brian Dunning. Another anti-labeling statement came from Scientific America long regarded as one of the most liberal science sources in the world stating in an editorial that “Labels for GMO Foods Are a Bad Idea”, that labeling could spread inaccurate information that could harm human health.
On the other side of this issue you have the ice cream brothers of Ben & Jerry’s out of Vermont who have taken a stand for GMO labeling on the heels of the resent Vermont bill. They have tried to eliminate most of the GMOs in their ice cream flavors as well as stated at a rally that they will rename one of their flavors and donate $1 to the Food Fight Fund, which will help defray the cost of defending the law.
64 countries in the world have already passed laws to have GMOs labeled.
After reading all the facts about GMOs it is up to the legislators and consumers to help make a decision on whether GMOs should be labeled or if what your eating doesn’t matter it’s all food.