In one of the most important votes of 2012, Californians will vote on whether to force food producers to label GMO products. The industry keeps telling us that it’s not necessary but shouldn’t consumers know what they are purchasing? If it’s not a problem, as the industry keeps telling us, then let them sell the idea and win over customers. Hiding information is not what we should expect in America.
Because there’s no mandatory labeling of GM foods, there’s a good chance many of us consume them without even knowing. According to the Grocery Manufacturers Association, 75 to 80 percent of conventional processed foods currently contain GM ingredients. Among the foods most likely to contain GM ingredients include ready-to-eat cereals, snack chips, tofu and other soy-derived foods, soups, and any processed foods made with corn, soybeans, canola and cottonseed oils.
Those who support the “Yes to Prop 37” campaign believe that consumers should not be left in the dark about what’s in their food. According to one such advocate, Michele Simon, JD, MPH, author of “Appetite for Profit,” “Prop 37 is an important step toward bringing America in line with 61 other nations that already require some form of GM labeling.” She also questions what she refers to as “The more than $40 million spent by leading pesticide and junk food companies to keep Californians in the dark about what they’re eating.”
Although it doesn’t support mandatory labeling, the American Medical Association recently updated their position on GE foods and called for mandatory safety testing before they hit the market.