Connecticut recently made history by being the first state to pass a bill that will require the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms. Just today Maine followed, and Massachusetts might be next.
The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health listened with great interest what over sixty scientists and consumer advocates had to say yesterday, June 12th, in the Boston State House.
The H2037 “right to know” bill would require foods that contain genetically modified organisms to be labeled as such. No warnings or negative connotations, just a simple label that would inform the consumer of the presence of GMOs.
All EU countries, China, Japan, Brazil and Russia already require GMO foods to be labeled. But opponents of the bill state that there is no need for labeling because “genetically engineered foods are virtually the same as non GMOs, and it would only cause unfair rejection and confusion”.
But if something is so different from nature that it needs a patent, why not also label it?
Even though the FDA states that GMOs are safe for human consumption, there are still a lot of unknowns. We are still figuring out the effects of genetically engineered organisms on human health.
The two major concerns about genetically modified foods are the strong correlation between GMOs and food allergies, and the high levels of glyphosate found in them.
Helen Wright explained how she and her children had a severe allergic reaction to a soy based food containing no nuts, even though they are only allergic to peanuts. With GMOs consumers can never be certain if the tomato they purchased has a fish gene in it, or the soy based veggie burger a peanut gene lurking inside.
Also, over 90% of GMO crops have been engineered to be Roundup ready (glyphosate resistant) so heavy amounts of this well-known toxic herbicide is sprayed constantly over them.
Scientists showed the committee results linking glyphosate with autism, obesity, depression, endocrine disruption, and Alzheimer if consumed over a long period of time.
I’m confident that our representatives will agree that we have the right to know.
If you want to learn more about this bill and the efforts behind the GMO labeling campaign go to MArighttoknow.org.