We All Have a Right to Know What’s in Our Food.
Consumers have a right to know what’s in the food we eat and feed our children, including whether food is genetically engineered.
A genetically engineered (GE) food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature. Today, as much as 85% of corn in the U.S. is genetically engineered. This corn is found in countless processed foods such as cereals, baby foods, breads, chips, and many other products. Currently, the majority of GE crops are designed for one purpose: to withstand greater amount of pesticides.
Unlike the strict safety evaluations required for the approval of new drugs, the safety of genetically engineered foods for human consumption is not adequately tested. Studies show that genetically engineering food can create new, unintended toxicants and increase allergies, and other health problems. Experts around the world agree that by labeling genetically engineered food, we can help identify any adverse health reactions that these foods may cause.
Much of the world already requires labeling for Genetically Engineered Foods. 50 countries with over 40% of the world’s population already label genetically engineered foods. California should be the leader on this important issue here in the United States.
The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act is simple: The initiative would simply require food sold in retail outlets to be labeled if it is genetically engineered, or if it contains genetically engineered ingredients.
We have not always labeled foods with calorie or nutritional value or allergen information, but we do now, and most consumers use this information every day to make informed choices in the supermarket. The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act simply requires food producers to identify ingredients that are genetically engineered on the ingredients label.
In order to get The Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act on the ballot in California in 2012, we will need to collect signatures from 800,000 California voters. Sign up to learn more about the campaign at www.carighttoknow.org. You can also join the blogger team online.