Monday, November 4, 2013


Zofia Haufman: GMOs – 5 Reasons why we NEED to know if it’s GMO

GMOs: 5 Reasons why we NEED to know if it’s GMO
Zofia Hausman, Co-Founder, Citizens for GMO Labeling
“It is easier for the world to accept a simple lie than a complex truth.” Alexis de Tocqueville
In recent years, the GMO labeling movement has focused on America’s “right to know.” It has served our cause well and helped to raise awareness across all demographics. However, in the past 18 months, ground-breaking peer-reviewed studies on the impacts of GMOs on animals, human health and the environment have come to light and they are shifting the playing field. Americans are now realizing that they need to know if their food is genetically engineered.
With mounting scientific evidence strongly indicating that genetically engineered crops and food products are unsafe, we must be able to trace and identify GMOs. Without labels this will not be possible. Martin Dagoberto, co-founder of MA Right to Know GMOs and Citizens for GMO Labeling, argues the urgent case for our “need to know” in his paper  “GMO labeling: An urgent case for state action on food transparency.” We list the five most important reasons why we “need to know if it’s GMO” here:
  1. There is a growing body of evidence that the consumption of GMOs is linked to auto-immune diseases, digestive disorders, infertility and cancer. People with illness need to safeguard their health and opt-out of the GMO experiment.
  2. Federal agencies have demonstrated unwavering support for GMO Agriculture; it’s up to the states to set the standard for labeling laws before the federal government initiates watered down legislation which may preempt more effective state-level standards and/or delay implementation.
  3. No labeling means no tracking of health impacts, no accountability, no liability. U.S. public health officials are unable to recognize linkages between GMO food intake and the many unexplained health problems facing Americans today. Nor can the corporations who sell these products be held accountable.
  4. Loosened regulations are now allowing for increased chemical residues – the escalation of herbicide use comes at the expense of soil, plant and human health and undermines efforts toward sustainable agriculture.
  5. Protecting the free market to prevent a global monopoly of the food and seed supply. GMO labeling will allow consumers to decide if they want to support the arguably reckless practices of particular agricultural interests, and is one immediate step toward a more informed, transparent and functional free market.
On October 21st, the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility issued a statement strongly rejecting claims by GM seed developers and some scientists that there is a “scientific consensus” on GMO safety and that the debate on this topic is “over”. In addition, ENSSER endorsed the need for further independent scientific inquiry and informed public discussion on GMO product safety and urged GMO proponents to do the same.
“We feel compelled to issue this statement because the claimed consensus on GMO safety does not exist. The claim that it does exist is misleading and misrepresents the currently available scientific evidence and the broad diversity of opinion among scientists on this issue. Moreover, the claim encourages a climate of complacency that could lead to a lack of regulatory and scientific rigor and appropriate caution, potentially endangering the health of humans, animals, and the environment.”
With support from scientists around the world, Americans are beginning to learn, through peer-reviewed analysis and study, that GMOs do in fact present serious risks to our health. It is imperative that the GMO Labeling movement arms itself with these findings and moves on from our simple “right to know” to an escalated message of the “need to know”. Our well-being, and that of our future generations, depends on it.
Yes on 522, the current GMO labeling ballot initiative in Washington State, has picked up the baton where California’s Proposition 37 left off. Out of state support is needed – please click here to find out how you can get involved.

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