Want to know which foods at your grocery store contain genetically modified ingredients? Considering that more than 70 percent do, it seems fair enough to be informed on the label. If a recent bill introduced into Congress passes, you will be.
The United States grows more GMO crops than any other country, yet doesn’t require foods containing them to be labeled; 60 other countries do. Polls find that between 80 percent and 90 percent of Americans want them to be labeled.
Multiple senators gave their support to the bill with comments such as the following: “Americans have the right to know what is in the food they eat so they can make the best choices for their families,” Senator Boxer said. “This legislation is supported by a broad coalition of consumer groups, businesses, farmers, fishermen and parents who all agree that consumers deserve more—not less—information about the food they buy.”
“When American families purchase food, they deserve to know if that food was genetically engineered in a laboratory,” Representative DeFazio said. “This legislation is supported by consumer rights advocates, family farms, environmental organizations, and businesses, and it allows consumers to make an informed choice.”
“Alaskans deserve to know what’s on their dinner plate, especially if it might come from a science lab. Labeling genetically engineered food should be a no-brainer, which is why I’m pleased to join my colleagues on this bill to make sure consumers are fully informed when they make choices at the grocery store,” said Senator Begich.
The Food and Drug Administration has not required the labeling of GMOs because it says they don’t render the food “materially” different from other foods in terms of taste and smell. It does though require labeling of more than 3,000 food additives, including MSG, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors.
The bipartisan legislation introduced recently would require clear labels for genetically engineered whole foods and processed foods, including fish and seafood. The measure would direct the FDA to write new labeling standards that are consistent with US labeling standards and international standards, according to Senator Boxer.
California’s recent Prop 37 that would have required food labeling of GMOs in that state lost by a narrow margin. Opponents to the bill, like Monsanto and The Hershey Company, said it would hurt small farmers and grocery retailers. Others challenged the wording of the bill. Supporters explained the defeat by pointing to huge donations from companies that put $44 million into the “No on Prop 37” campaign compared to the $7.3 million in support of the bill.
At Natural Vitality Living, we believe every consumer should know what products contain GMOs.
Go here to sign a petition telling your senators and representatives to support the bill.