As a parent I do my best to read labels and buy fresh as much as I can. I’m not perfect at this, by a long shot, but I try. I want to know what I am feeding my kids. We buy organic and local foods as much as possible and I am trying to teach my children the importance of understanding what they are putting in their mouths. So what can I do that if the labels deliberately lack key information about Genetically Engineered Foods (GMOs)?
Right now the Federal Government doesn’t mandate that this information be placed on labels, but they do mandate that trans fats and food allergens are. Why is that? Why won’t they put GMOs on the labels? Why is it that many other countries around the world mandate this labeling, but the US does not? Why is it that a federal judge ruled that GMO crops could not be planted in National Wildlife Refuges in the southeastern US, but yet they can appear in our food chain without labeling?
Living in a somewhat agricultural area, I understand why there are genetically engineered foods. However, I still find them concerning and more importantly I feel that I have a right to know what is in my food.
Several years ago Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced the “Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act.” Unfortunately this act has repeatedly gotten lost in committee. The most current version of it is H.R.3553-Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act which was introduced last December (it is the reintroduction of HR.5577). It’s time we got this passed. Here is his speech on CSPAN- very informative:
There is also additional information and concern voiced by some famous faces. Hey, if they can use their fame to get this issue out there, I’m all for it.
If you want to know more, or easily email your representative, please visit: http://justlabelit.org/
So what can you do for your family right now? First, look for information on the label. Some manufacturers are voluntarily providing this information. Second, you can try and research it on your own, by visiting:
For those people with smartphones, www.fooducate.com has an app which you can download. It scans the barcode on the item and gives the food a grade, even identifying the probability that it contains GMOs. I’ll admit it was scary when I first used it because you find out how off some of your assumptions are. That said, I would much rather have the tools to make educated decisions than be in the dark.