Imagine taking genes from bacteria, viruses, and petunias to create a “new” plant—one that is resistant to weed-killers. Unfortunately, this is not science fiction.
Welcome to the world of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE). Basically this is bioengineered food—altering plants’ gene expressions so they can survive exposure to pesticides and insects. The “‘new’ plant” mentioned above is a soy bean “created” to withstand the application of Roundup.
What scientists have done is to combine plants and organisms that would be unable to reproduce naturally in nature; this is done to supposedly increase crop yield and reduce costs.
You may be aware of the debate surrounding the safety of GMOs. If not, please take some time to read the existing research.
What you might not be aware of is the House of Representatives passed “The Safe and Accurate Food labeling Act” (H.R. 1599) in July of this year that would, among other things, ban states from passing laws requiring the labeling of GMO foods. Interestingly, this act has been referred to by opponents of the legislation as the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK Act).
Naturally, the agribusinesses support the above bill because they fear the American public would refuse to buy food or food products if they knew it contained GMOs—hence, reducing the companies’ profits. What are these companies trying to hide from us? I like the concept of knowing a food is organic, non-GMO, pesticide- and hormone-free.
Regardless of which camp you fall into regarding the safety of GMOs, I believe we must have the right to know what’s in our foods and based on this knowledge, to make our own individual choices. A previous post I wrote on GRAS (6/18/15), emphasizes that legally all the ingredients do not have to be listed on a food label. H.R. 1599 would make matters even worse.
At some point this legislation, H.R. 1599, is scheduled to be introduced in the Senate. If you believe in having a choice, contact your senators and tell them to vote, “No,” on it. As of today, no date has been set. Please go to www.congress.gov to track this legislation. I will also keep you posted. Thank you.