A simple label is causing a lot of controversy. California’s Right to Know Proposition 37 requires genetically modified (GM) foods be labeled. Although this Proposition is in California, it has the ability to change national politics of food as well.
What Are Genetically Modified Foods?
A genetically modified or engineered food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered. This is done 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. Many of the foods we currently eat and feed our families (including some baby formulas and most corn, soy, canola oil, cotton and sugar beets commonly used in processed foods.)
GM products have NOT been proven safe. They have been linked to environmental problems, studies have linked these foods to allergies, organ toxicity and a slew of health problems. What’s worse is these foods are not labeled. The only way you can know for sure that a food has not been modified is if you purchase organic.
Food author Michael Pollan says one of the most interesting things we will learn on November 6 is whether or not there is a “food movement” in American.
Pollan explains, “What is at stake this time around is not just the fate of genetically modified crops but the public’s confidence in the industrial food chain.” Read more from Michael Pollan, Click Here.
Sixty-one other countries require labeling of GM foods. Many European countries have restrictions on genetically modified crops. Will California demand that Monsanto give us truth in labeling or will they believe Monsato’s campaign propaganda?
Proposition 37’s Impact on the Country
If Prop 37 is passed in California, it has the potential to impact the rest of the country. First, it will give us an indication of how much independent thinking there is about our food supply. Do most people believe what Monsanto has been promoting—that GM foods are safe and even healthy? Secondly, mandatory labeling on foods in California has the potential to encourage other states to follow California’s lead in demanding GMO labeling. And the good news for the rest of us, it may cause food producers to label GM food in all the states to avoid separate labeling.
What remains to be seen is whether Californians will, come November 6th, allow Monsanto and its allies to control what you are allowed to know about the food you eat.