Cross-posted at Immizen.com with links to sources.
I heard on NPR today that organic produce farmers in Vermont and Connecticut were asking the legislature to pass a law that would require labeling of genetically modified (GM) food.
Who would not want to know if we are eating tomatoes grown from genetically modified seeds from Monsanto or regular organic tomatoes grown by local farmers, perhaps not as red, big and long lasting but much juicier and tastier? Who would not like that information and be free to chose which food we prefer to buy and eat.
In fact, several polls have found that a large majority, in fact as many as 95% of the people surveyed support the labeling of genetically modified foods.
Since 1997, the European Community has made labeling of genetically modified food mandatory for products that consist of genetically modified organisms even if there is still DNA or protein resulting from the genetic modification present in the food.
But in the US, only recently, seventeen states introduced genetically modified labeling legislation but very few of them appear to have a shot at a vote. Legislation also failed in the Vermont Legislature and in Connecticut it died in the face of threatened lawsuits by food producers. With Big Agro providing major campaign contributions, such a legislature is a hard sell. Worse even, we have Monsanto threatening the Vermont legislature over the labeling bill and threatening to sue the state.
“They know that we’re here on this one issue but Monsanto is there all the time,” says Alexis Baden-Mayer, political director for the Organic Consumers Association (OCA).
It is scary to realize, as often as it happens, how much power big US corporations have on our everyday lives and decisions. I lived 10 years in Europe, and never felt at the mercy of the big and greedy corporations. Somehow the governments in Europe (with some glaring exceptions), seem to balance their priorities better: protecting their citizen while promoting corporation growth.
And this just in: A Loyola University psychological scientist finds evidence that people who eat organic food are more judgemental or insufferable than people who eat regular comfort food. There is no evidence however that the professor works for Monsanto. And I checked. But this is the new talking point for Monsanto's marketing reps - that eating natural food is "elitist" and "pompous" and "makes you a jerk." They're trying to cash in on the current anti-elitist sentiment by labeling natural food, which is what "organic" food is, as being something smug and elitist. What they don't tell you is that eating their products makes you sick, maybe even dead. I doubt any of Monsanto's upper level executives eats their own products - they can afford the natural stuff.