Thursday, October 8, 2009
Do We Have A Choice?
Most consumers in the U.S. today are not aware that the majority of foods they purchase in a typical supermarket contain genetically modified ingredients. That's because in the U.S., unlike Europe and most of the rest of the world, we do not have mandatory labeling laws for genetically engineered (GE) food. In fact, the only way to be sure that the food you purchase is not GE is to purchase certified organic food. The non-profit group The Center for Food Safety is working to change this. They are trying to force companies like Monsanto and the federal agencies that are supposed to be regulating them to adequately study these products before they go on the market. Genetically engineered sugar beets have been widely grown since 2008, with approximately 95% of the sugar beets planted this year genetically modified. But the consequences of this are not fully known. For example, the pollen from genetically-engineered crops could spread to neighboring non-genetically engineered crops. This would not only eliminate the farmer's right to choose not to plant GE crops, it could eliminate the consumer's right not to eat it.