People in other countries are dumbfounded when they learn that here in the U.S., for more than 15 years, we've allowed the biotech industry and the FDA to feed us a line about the safety of genetically modified foods - and worse yet, deny us the basic right to know which foods we buy contain GMOs and which don't.
If you live in this country, you should be more than dumbfounded. You should be outraged.
You can help pass this country's first GMO labeling law, Prop 37 The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, by making a donation today.
Last week French scientists published the results of the first ever long-term study on the health effects on lab rats of Monsanto's GMO corn and its best-selling herbicide, Roundup. According to the study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, rats fed a lifetime diet of GMO corn and the herbicide-tolerant GM corn, or given water containing Roundup in amounts considered safe in drinking water and GM crops in the US, suffered tumors, multiple organ damage and premature death.
The study drew some criticism for its methodology. But it highlighted the fact that we know very little about the long-term health consequences of a GMO-laden diet. It also raised this critical question: Why are GMOs allowed in our food, without our knowledge, when it's clear that they have not been proven safe?
Here are 8 reasons you want Prop 37 to pass, and why we're asking for your support.
1. GMOs have never been proven safe. The FDA conducts no independent testing of GMOs, but instead claims that they are "not substantially different" from non-GMO foods.
2. The biotech industry is not required to conduct long-term safety studies on GMOs, and it keeps researchers from conducting those tests by claiming the right to protect its patented seeds and technologies.
3. GMOs are everywhere. Today, most non-organic US corn, soy, cotton and sugar beets - which are used in most of the sweeteners and additives used by food processors - are genetically engineered. So is the feed fed to the animals you eat. In fact, 75 - 85% of the processed food in your grocery store contains unlabeled GMOs.
4. The companies who want you to believe GMOs are safe are the same ones who lied to you about Agent Orange and DDT.
5. GE crops are responsible for super weeds and super bugs, soil degradation, and lack of diversity - which makes crops and humans more susceptible to disease.
6. The only folks who don't want you to know what's in your food are huge corporations like Monsanto, Dow AgriScience, BASF and food conglomerates like Pepsi and Coca-Cola - who along with other biotech, pesticide and processed food manufacturers have donated nearly $33 million to defeat Prop 37.
7. This is our best - and perhaps only - shot at labeling GMOs and ending Monsanto's monopoly of our food supply and destruction of our health and environment. Nineteen other states have tried - and failed - to get a GMO labeling law through the state legislative process. Prop 37 takes GMO labeling direct to the voters so Monsanto's lobbyists can't kill it.
8. If this law passes in California, food manufacturers have admitted that it may as well be a national law. They won't want to put 'this product contains GMOs" on their labels, so they will reformulate their products. And if they reformulate for California, they may as well do it for all of their products.
Early voting on Prop 37 begins on October 9. By November 6, this historic initiative will have passed or failed.
Ronnie Cummins Director, Organic Consumers Association and Organic Consumers Fund