The big controversy continues about genetically modified foods on the food blogs due to the upcoming legislative Proposition 37 on the California ballot this November. This topic has two opposite opinions: the support and the opposition for labeling of GM foods. This proposition pits big-money natural food businesses and activists against big food companies like PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Kellogg and mega-chemical giants like Monsanto.
Part of the controversy is that the FDA has declared GM foods safe and do not require labeling; many consumers and food activists are concerned about unforeseen consequences that may accompany the manipulation of genes in our food supply. Voters will soon decide if labels will be required on these foods that include about 90% of corn, canola oil, soybeans, and sugar beet production.
Here are some things we know:
- It is estimated that 70-80% of processed food sold in supermarkets could be affected.
- The California ballot includes Proposition 37 due to nearly a million signatures in support of the initiative.
- Two national surveys have shown that 9 out of 10 consumers support labeling and that 64.9% of prospective voters favor it compared to 23.9% opposed.
In my opinion, genetically modified foods have not been thoroughly tested; there are no human studies and animal studies are scare. There are many concerns that these foods could cause allergic reactions in humans or cause contamination of non-GM fields. Therefore, I support labeling so we as consumers can choose.. “More safety assessments are needed”, said Michael Hansen, an evolutionary biologist and senior scientist at Consumer Union in Yonkers, NY.
The following articles support labeling.
The first one “Dramatic Health Recoveries Reported” by Jeffrey M. Smith offers us only anecdotal testimonials, however. Mr Smith is the leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GM choices. He is the author of The Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.
The second one is a position paper published by the Academy of Environmental Sciences and provides some results of animal studies with references.