One Million More

Have you seen the food documentaries Food, Inc or King Corn? Both of these films were instrumental in raising my awareness and concern around the issues of genetically engineered food in our country.

Currently, genetically modified food is not labeled in our grocery stores, and it is estimated that approximately 70% of the food sold contains GMO’s as opposed to only 5% in Europe. The FDA has not required any long-term studies of the effects of this food on humans.  I don’t know about you, but as a mom of a toddler, those statistics are a bit alarming.

I recently became aware of the Proposition 37 in California, which would require food sold in CA to be labeled whether or not it contains GMOs.

What are GMO’s?

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is an organism whose genetic material has been artificially altered.  Approximately 85% of the corn grown in the US is genetically modified, and then used in countless processed foods, including cereals, chips, crackers, and even baby food.

Why should we be concerned?

First of all, we have a right to know what is in our food. If these products were labeled, consumers who wanted to avoid them could do so. Even more importantly, we have no idea what the long term health implications of GMO’s may be.

The FDA has not required any long term studies, and research is beginning to link GMOs to a number of health concerns.

In 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) stated that,“Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified (GM) food,” which may include infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. According to the this article, the AAEM has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid GM foods.

What does is Proposition 37?

This initiative in California would require food to be labeled if it is genetically engineered or if it contains genetically engineered ingredients.  It is intended to have no cost impact on consumers or producers.

Why should we care if we don’t live in CA?

Fifty countries with approximately 40% of the world’s population are already requiring GMO’s to be labeled in food. Getting this passed in California would open the doors for change to spread across the US.

It took one million votes to get the initiative on the California ballot, and it will take a million more to vote, donate, and spread the word to get the initiative passed.

How can you help?

There are many levels at which you can help make a difference.

  1. If you are a blogger, and would like to help spread the word, you can sign up here.
  2. Join us for a Twitter chat on Friday, August 10th at 7pm PST/ 10pm EST
  3. Tweet about the initiative using the hashtags #CARighttoknow & #LabelGMOs, here’s two sample tweets you can copy and paste:

“Yes on Prop 37! Consumers have the right to know about #GMOs. #CARightToKnow #LabelGMOs #YesOn37 http://bit.ly/yeson37

OR “Are u passionate about labeling #GMO? Join the Official LabelGMOs Blogger Team! http://t.co/0pHZAn1B #labelgmos #carighttoknow”

More interesting reading:

My family is not perfect in our food purchasing and consuming, but I am passionate about knowing where my food is coming from.  I’m hopeful that if we can begin labeling all products with GMO information, more and more companies will feel the pressure to stop using genetically-engineered food in their products.

Do GMO’s concern you? Did you know CA has this initiative on their ballot?