Whenever it comes time for voters to take to the polls things tend to get heated up, but this time, the biggest fight isn’t between the red and the blue, it’s between consumers who are demanding GMO labeling and the corporations that are trying to hide them.
Since the Obama administration has failed to respond to the public outcry against GMO’s some states are starting to take action in places like Washington state where over 90 percent of the consumer base is demanding that items containing genetically modified organisms be labeled to warn people about what they are buying. Measure 522 would require not only all the foods containing GMO’s to be labeled, but seeds and seed stock as well. The wildly popular measure has been targeted for opposition by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) who, not surprisingly, is representing the special interests with their own motivations for defeating labeling measures. But who is behind the GMA?
On October 18, 2013 the state’s Attorney General sued the GMA, accusing them of violating federal campaigning laws which require such organizations to publicly disclose their list of donors. A list that the GMA fought to keep hidden from voters and consumers a like. Once the law suit was in play, the GMA agreed to finally release the list of names which was published by the Seattle Times and reads like a who’s who list of food manufacturing companies with many contributing upwards of $1million or more to prevent consumers from learning what is in the food they sell them. Names like Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Co, Mars Bar, Nestle, Con-Agra, General Mills, and Campbell Soup were just a few of the companies on the list.
Interestingly enough, these are some of the same names who have been supporting the Academy of Nutrition an Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetics Association) and their war against Nutritionists as well as Health bloggers or anyone else who has been speaking about about nutrition, health, and the dangers of things like GMO’s, sugar, etc. Serious health concerns have been raised from a number of studies that show GMO’s may be responsible for increased food allergies, organ damage, and array of other problems. But aside from the health implications, why is this such a big environmental issue? In one word…bees.
A new statement released this month has reconfirmed that there is no consensus among the scientific community that GMO’s are even safe for us or the environment. Not only do GMO’s introduce foreign, artificial species and components into the Eco-system with no way to predict how this will effect other crops, plants, animals, or even human health, but the dangers may be much more immediate. Several studies have shown that the bee colonies all over the country are beginning to collapse and GMO crops have been linked to bee destruction. This can be potentially devastating, not only for crops but for all life because plant life depends upon the bees function as pollinators. Crops and wild plants a like can not survive without the bees. No bees, means no food.
This is not something to be taken lightly. Countries and territories all over the world from Italy to Australia to Saudi Arabia are banning GE (genetically engineered) crops and foods yet the biggest battle of all seems to be here in the US where consumers have desperately been fighting to just get this possibly dangerous food source labeled. Washington State is not alone in this fight; however, and we are likely to see similar measures in other states across the country.
To learn more about to GMO’s and how to find products that are GMO free visit the Non-GMO Project.