Friday, February 1, 2013

GMO Labeling

A majority of the articles I read from the sustainable farming community are related to the possible dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food.   Most of the GMO products on the market have been genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides such as round up.  Most of the chemicals to kill weeds in our lawns and gardens are non-selective killers; roundup will kill all vegetation including the grass.  Scientist have genetically modified crops like corn and soybeans to be resistant to roundup.  Is it safe?  No one seems to know for sure.  The companies that produce the herbicide have performed the only testing on GMO crops, they say yes it is perfectly safe.  Opponents of GMOs do not believe adequate independent testing has been performed on GMOs to determine if they are safe, or not.  The possible dangers of eating GMO products seem to far outweigh the benefits of the product.  I encourage everyone to do his or her own research.  Both sides seem to be at an impasse.  The companies that produce GMO seeds will not allow their products to be tested by independent labs, and the opposition is adamantly opposed to the product being incorporated into our food supply with out more testing and research.

 The logical solution seems to be let the consumer decide.  The opponents of GMO are asking that all GMO be listed on the label required on our food.  Those companies supporting GMO are opposed to required labeling; their argument against labeling GMOs is that additional labeling will increase the cost of our food.  The companies opposed to GMO labeling felt so strongly about keeping the cost of food down that they spent more than 60 million dollars in the fight to prevent GMO labeling.  What’s that going to do to the price of corn?  This past November, California put the GMO labeling issue on the ballot to let the residents decide weather or not the GMO label was to be required by law.  The notion to require  GMO labeling was defeated, mostly because of the 60 million dollar media campaign opposed to GMO labeling.  I wonder, if this stuff is really safe and no different from organic corn, why are they resisting the testing, why are they opposed to labeling? 

Why am I writing my first blog this year about GMO labeling?  Did you know that more that 90% of the corn grown in this country is of the genetically modified variety ?  Do you know that more than 50% of the corn produced is for animal feed? Do you know that just about every meat product you buy in the mega grocery chains has spent half of their life eating the genetically modified grain?  Why is this something to be concerned about?  The old saying” you are what you eat” applies to the beef you buy. More importantly “you are what you eat, eats”.  If the meat you feed you family has spent half of its life eating GMO feed, is there any danger in consuming the beef?   I really don’t have the answer. More research is required.  I know what I choose, a diet of organic grass fed meats and vegetables, and plenty of exercise.  It is the best health insurance plan you can buy, and until we know for sure the GMOs are safe or not, I refuse to buy them.