What if you’re on a diet and counting calories? Would you go to the grocery store and load up your cart without looking to see the calories listed on the back of the package? What if you had a food allergy? Would you put something in your cart without first looking to see the listed ingredients on the back of the package? Similarly, consumers are left without any labels to guide them in making decisions about GMOs (genetically modified organisms). The Scitech lawyer’s contributor Debra M.Strauss in her article, “Liability for Genetically Modified Food: Are GMOS a tort waiting to happen?”, further defines GMOs as “plants [that] are engineered by inserting the DNA of an unrelated species into the target plant at the cellular level, generating the desired trait throughout the plant and its crop for consumption”. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? One day you could potentially grow tomatoes in winter if you took the DNA from salmon and put it into a tomato. Besides defying Nature, GM plants are engineered to produce pesticides in its own tissue. Are we cluelessly eating pesticides? If given the choice between GM corn and GM-free corn, pigs will eat the GM-free corn every single time.
Do we have a right to choose too? The state of California seems to think so. Proposition 37 will be voted on next month as to whether companies should be required to label their food as containing GMOs. Opponents of the propositon are companies that complain of incurring costs to relabeling products. In reality, companies change their labels all the time.
GMOs are a hot debate recently. Just last month Dr.Oz devoted an entire episode to the topic. It seems as if experts are divided on the issue. Some argue that GMOs are healthy and unharmful and not enough studies have been done to indicate otherwise, while others argue that GMOs are very dangerous and cause allergies, organ toxicity and a host of other health problems. Many countries in Europe and Asia fall into the latter camp and have banned GMOs and regulate international trade from less regulated US agricultural goods.
Aside from moving out of the country, what can you do to keep you and your family safe at mealtime? As with everything, education is vital. Buy organic when you can, especially in regard to the dirty dozen. Buy organic soy, corn, canola, papaya and sugar beets. Look for the NO GMO label:
If your grocery store doesn’t stock GMO free products, request them. Most grocery stores will accomodate such requests. When dining out, ask your server if their menu items are made with GMO free products.
We have a right to know what we’re eating.