GMO in the Know – September 6th, 2013
A wrap-up of GMO-related headlines and developments.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) have sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), urging the agency to finalize its policies on genetically engineered ingredients marketed as food products or additives. “We encourage the FDA to implement a regulatory framework that will promote transparency for consumers while providing producers with the certainty they need to label their products appropriately.”
Pesticide use is skyrocketing across the MidWest corn belt, as more and more acres of genetically engineered corn crops are planted each year, designed to withstand increased levels of chemical use. Yet the majority of Americans are left in the dark once these crops hit supermarket shelves, unable to make a distinction between GE and non-GE foods. A new video begs the question: Would you be able to tell if your corn had been hardwired with chemicals? The answer: Probably not.
In a follow-up to her piece “Just Because Science Can Genetically Engineer Food, Doesn’t Mean We Should“, Forbes contributor Beth Hoffman uses a handful of maps and graphs to show that it is often the countries that are not suffering from issues like Vitamin A deficiency who are most eager for GE foods to come to market. Most countries in less-developed regions such as Southeast Asia and Central Africa have mandatory labeling laws in place, and exhibit strong reservations about accepting GE foods.
The idea of labeling genetically engineered foods is gaining traction across the U.S., as more and more Americans tune in to the overwhelming presence of GE ingredients in our food supply. Legislative wins for labeling in Maine and Connecticut and a consumer supported ballot initiative in Washington state signify changing consumer sentiment, and a greater demand for transparency. According to consumer research consultant Amy Sousa, “Trying to supress labeling and skirting around the issue is not a sustainable approach.”