I have to get political for this post, DIYeters. We need to talk about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) in our food supply. November, 2014 will see two states, Colorado and Oregon vote to label foods containing GMO ingredients. A similar proposition in California was defeated in 2012 by a tiny margin. Other GMO related bills have been proposed in many states. (Here is a useful map from Food Democracy Now! and a Coalition of States for GMO Labeling, if you want to see what’s been proposed in your state.)
This issue is important. I’ve been trying to write this post for a few months now. I try to be even-handed and present hard facts and balanced opinions on this here blog. That is really hard to do with this topic. So hard in fact, that I didn’t get this post done for last Sunday, which had been my “drop dead date” for this topic. Okay, it was my 4th “drop dead date” for this topic. Seriously- there is very little middle ground when it comes to GMO’s, everyone has an opinion and frankly the science is relatively new. The peer-reviewed evidence is all over the place. Furthermore, the controversy of GMO foods goes beyond the what (foods with exogenous DNA in their cells). The why (end world hunger or make lots of money), the where (developed nations with plentiful food supplies or developing nations with frequent or widespread famines), and the who (agricultural universities or mega-corporations) are equally a part of the issue.
So, here are a bunch of web sites. Many are very one sided. However, they represent both sides. Please peruse them and consider the evidence carefully.
Green Facts has a good overview of the concept and controversy involved in GMO’s.
Here’s what the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association has to say.
Monsanto, a major developer of GMO foods says this.
NonGMO project offers this insight.
Institute for Responsible Science, an organization dedicated to educating policy makers and the rest of us about GMO’s says these things.
So what is my opinion? For now, I’ll say that I want GMO foods labeled. We already get to see where our fruits and vegetables were grown and where our fish was caught. We can easily select Fuji apples or cortlands because the varieties are labeled. (Which is good, because I don’t like Fuji apples.) I want to choose non-GMO foods. Please label them. There is more to my opinion on GMO foods, but I’ll tell you about it later.
The issues surrounding GMOs in our food supply are important to everyone who eats food. Learn the facts, consider the opinions, and start talking. Let’s keep the discussion going and keep our eyes on the outcomes in Oregon and Colorado. Next week- something much less politically charged. I promise.
Pingback: Following up | Food It Yourself!