Is the Time Right for GMO Labeling?
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 24 years since the Bush Administration recommended that gene-altered food not be labeled. A lot of things have changed since 1992. For example, many consumers now simply accept the fact that much of the food we consume has been altered on a genetic level. The logic is simple – nothing has happened yet. Really? The science is pretty clear that genetic engineering (GE) has not led to big improvements in food production as Monsanto and others initially promised. In fact, GE has only enabled large monocrop corporate farms to use less labor, thus reducing the need for workers and putting more pressure on smaller family farms to compete. The increase in toxins in the environment is well documented and so is the decline in soil heath due to excessive chemical spraying needed in the process.
We have also seen the introduction of GE’ed salmon. A company called AquaAdvantage developed a hybrid salmon approved for sale last year that reaches full maturity in less than half the time of normal salmon. This was the first time a GE’ed animal has been approved for sale. Despite FDA approval, many are worried about this leap of GE from plant to animal. And, once again, no labels are required to tell consumers if their salmon is genetically modified.
Finally, perhaps some good news. As reported in theguardian, Campbell’s Soup announced last Friday that the company will list which ingredients are GE’ed on the labels of its soups. A small first step? Sure. But, a step in the right direction nonetheless.
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