Genetically Modified Organisms; these three words have created a world-wide battle between countries, states and groups championing safe food practices, vs. major food and beverage manufacturers who use products created by Monsanto. You remember Monsanto; it has given several wonderful chemical products such as Agent Orange which continues to damage Vietnam veterans.
Why GMO’s? Monsanto, in collusion with companies such as Coca Cola, Starbucks, and most of The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, claim they would increase crop yield, increase nutrition levels, be more tolerant in drought-stricken areas, and other benefits for consumers. None of these have been proven to be fact. The truth is that Monsanto created these organisms to withstand its own deadly herbicide ‘Round-Up.’ Farmers who use GMO products, primarily seeds, use increased amounts of herbicide, contaminating food and ground water.
Monsanto claims that genetically altered foods are safe. Also untrue. Yearly increasing evidence reveals health problems, damage to the environment, and legal battles regarding violations of the rights of both farmers and consumers. (Remember Agent Orange; Monsanto claimed it would only defoliate the forests, not harm humans.)
Is this a problem in the United States, or are other countries fighting against GMO’s?
The rest of the world is ahead of the United States in their fight to eliminate GMO’s. As of today more than 60 nations have restrictions or bans in place to cease the inclusion of GMO foods in their daily diets. Included are Japan, Australia, and all of the European Union.
The government of the United States has approved them after studies were conducted. Who performed the studies? The manufacturers of GMO’s; Monsanto.
This has not only become a battle between consumers and the chemical giant, it is now involved in state’s rights vs. the federal government.
The state of Vermont passed a law which would require manufacturers to label foods made with GMO’s. The food industry is fighting back claiming that such a requirement would violate free commerce from state to state, and is nothing more than fear-mongering. Here’s what they really fear.
New Hampshire and Main have previously passed GMO labeling laws. They aren’t currently in effect because each has a stipulation which prevents the law from going into effect until other states pass the law.
The western states of Oregon, Washington, California and Colorado have witnessed the defeat of similar measures, but they could return to ballots if enough signatures are obtained. If Vermont succeeds, other states could benefit from the impetus.
The discussion about GMO’s is headed in the wrong direction. Our nation’s people should be making the laws, especially ones which affect our health and well-being. The courts all too frequently side with major corporations who have deeper pockets than groups concerned with consumer protection.
Proof already exists regarding one distressing result of GMO’s. Insects are becoming immune to an increasing number of pesticides.
A New York Times poll conducted in 2013 revealed that 93 percent of Americans believe that GMO foods should contain some form of warning label.
By James Turnage