Not all the votes are counted yet in the battle to label genetically modified (GM) foods in Washington state. But the initiative is trailing, 45 percent in favor to 55 percent opposed, and appears headed for defeat.
When polled, the vast majority of Americans favor requiring food companies to label genetically modified foods. Yet the public has been thwarted on this front, leaving the world’s largest democracy to stand alone among advanced (and emerging) nations in keeping consumers in the dark about GMOs. What happened to transparency and consumer choice in America? Let’s take a look.
Like so many David and Goliath fights, the battle over the safety of our staple crops was initially defined by the big chemical companies that began producing seeds. These Biotech/Chemical/Seed companies claimed that their new genetically engineered or modified (GM or GE) crops would be more productive, have higher yields, require less pesticide and enable farmers to “feed the world”…
As American resistance to genetically modified (GMO) foods appears to grow — with several states proposing labeling laws and Internet chatter on the issue at an all-time high*– a new GMO surprise has sprouted.
The U.S. State Department has been aggressively pushing GMO crops on countries around the world, using embassy connections to try to sway governments to adopt policies friendly to giant biotech firms like Missouri-based Monsanto, according to a new report by Food and Water Watch.
The fight to label GMO foods has arrived in Washington D.C. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced a bill Wednesday that would mandate labeling for foods that have been genetically engineered. If passed, the U.S. would join 64 other countries around the world that require labeling.
Genetically modified foods are everywhere, having crept into processed foods as key components, such as corn oil, corn flour, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, soy isolate, invert sugar and on down the food label. How can a consumer cope? Until GE foods are labeled, shoppers have to ferret out the non-GMO foods and ingredients.
The GE-salmon known variously as the AquAdvantage salmon and a “frankenfish” has been swimming toward approval, but is currently bogged in a heated public comment period. Learn more about the tug-and-pull over what would be the first genetically modified animal to debut on your plate.
Despite opposition from farm and food groups, and a petition on SIgnOn.org, Congress passed the controversial Monsanto Protection Act on Thursday, freeing the giant biotech firm, and others like it, from annoying oversight by the USDA. Read about this window into how Washington works, for companies that are big enough.
The Food and Drug Administration appears to be within a few weeks of approving genetically modified (GM) salmon, despite a massive public outcry that the engineered fish could be unsafe and consumers do not want it.
On Nov. 6, California voters will say yea or nay to Proposition 37, which would require labeling for genetically modified or GM foods.
The issue, which became a ballot initiative after getting nearly a million petition signatures this past spring, appears to have wide popular support, according to polls. But it faces stiff opposition from pesticide makers like Monsanto, food companies, and dozens of California agricultural operations and business groups. Led by Monsanto, the opposition has collectively spent more than $34 million in advertising and public relations efforts opposing Prop. 37.