By using a pro-GMO scientist on the no-labeling side and then activists and concerned citizens to represent the pro-labeling side, the article comes across as quite biased. Why wasn't a scientist with knowledge of the effects and risks of GMOs interviewed, especially since the field is "crowded with scientists casing both sides of the issue?"
It’s true that by reading the ingredients in packaged/processed foods, those who are informed on what to look for can figure out if GMOs and their hidden derivatives are likely present. However, many consumers do not understand how pervasive GMOs are in our food system, and the GMO information should be clear, especially for busy parents. Perhaps labeling will even help with the tracking of food allergies that show up after consuming packaged/processed foods.
The topic here is labeling, but this important legislation is connected to the bigger issues such as human health, the preservation of seed biodiversity/genetics, sustainability in the production of food, and corporate control of the food system.
Sprinkled here and there are clauses and statements hinting that genetic engineering is benign. "Precise as genetic engineering is . . . " suggests that genetic modification is an exact science. From my understanding, the proteins produced from the altered genes can be unpredictable and unrecognizable since they are not found in nature. It's possible that the increase in food allergy rates since GMOs were launched to the public in the mid-90s could be linked to the new proteins in the food supply.
The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has endorsed GMOs as a way to help feed the world, but that doesn't mean that GM seeds have a higher yield, especially over the long term. Many experts have found that traditional farming methods outperform GM crops, while requiring fewer chemicals, being more sustainable, and maintaining healthier seed biodiversity. When farmers start using GM seeds, they apparently have difficulty reverting back to their traditional farming methods and become dependent on buying new seeds every year from the biotech companies. The corporations end up having more control over the food production and make money selling the accompanying chemicals for these GM crops.
I'm glad the agriculture industry in this area has been resistant to using GM seeds. I am grateful to have access to the healthiest produce. I don't want GMO crop pollen drift or errant GM seeds to affect my food supply.
Last login: Monday, November 5, 2012
The mission of the Monterey County Weekly is to inspire independent thinking and conscious action, etc.
Serving Big Sur, Carmel, Carmel Valley, Castroville, Del Rey Oaks, Marina, Monterey, Moss Landing, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Prunedale, Salinas, Salinas Valley, Sand City, Seaside and the entire Monterey County. © 2013 Milestone Communications Inc. All rights reserved. Formerly the Coast Weekly newspaper.