GMO in the Know – August 23rd, 2013
A wrap-up of GMO-related headlines and developments.
A recent editorial by the Scientific American titled “Labels for GMO Foods Are a Bad Idea”, argues that requiring labels on GE foods would instill unnecessary fear and rejection of these foods in an already skeptical American public, in addition to halting strides in food production and feeding the world’s growing population. Yet the truth is that the PR machines from the biotech industry are performing far better than the actual results of their crops; a look at the facts shows that the bold promises from these companies have yet to be realized.
As the GE labeling movement heats up, more and more Americans are showing clear support for the consumer right to know by buying organic products and products already labeled “non-GMO”. How has this affected the profits of biotech giants? A slip in Monsanto’s stock in May 2013 left some predicting further loss in the face of growing negative press, while others don’t see their financial strength crashing anytime soon.
So far, backers of Washington’s state ballot GE labeling initiative, I-522, have come out on top, raising four times more cash than their opponents. However, much more money is expected to pour into both sides as November nears, with last year’s “No on Prop 37” donors likely to spend millions more on a barrage of TV and print ads throughout Washington state.
More than 150 farms, food businesses and organizations have called for the USDA to strenthen its oversight of field trials of experimental, genetically engineered crops. “The current U.S. policy includes neither mandatory contamination prevention measures, nor an adequate system for monitoring the success of containment following trials.”