By Catherine Haug (image, right, from Organic Consumers Assoc., used with permission)
It is no secret that the fight to label GMOs is fraught with controversy. Three states (Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine) have mandated the labeling, but Big Ag is spending big bucks to fight back. Are you ready to defend our Right to Know?
Although the “Deny Americans Right to Know” (DARK) act was recently passed by the House, it is most likely dead in the Senate. This has prompted Big Ag to offer a ‘compromise’ plan that would require GMO labels on food products, but ONLY if they’re hidden in QR codes (which take a smart phone to decipher) on the back of a product. This ‘compromise’ would also bar future state labeling laws and overrule those state laws already passed.
Meanwhile, the most prestigious medical journal in the the US – New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) – calls for GMO labeling (4). Both glyphosate (Roundup) and 2,4-D (part of Agent Orange) have been linked to increases in malignant tumors at multiple sites in animals. Glyphosate was also linked to an increased incidence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in humans. (1) See Salsalabs (2) for more information, and to petition your senators about this new legislation.
Hawaii, where chemical companies spray seventeen times more pesticide per acre than ordinary cornfields in the US, is experiencing a spike in birth defects—in some areas, at more than ten times the national rate. (1,3)
These new developments cause the authors to conclude, “The time has therefore come to thoroughly reconsider all aspects of the safety of plant biotechnology….We believe the time has come to revisit the United States’ reluctance to label GM foods.” (4)
- NEJM on GMOs, Herbicides and National Health, by Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., and Charles Benbrook, Ph.D. in N Engl J Med 2015; 373:693-695, August 20, 2015: nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1505660