Like it or not, genetically engineered foods make up a significant portion of our nation’s food supply. Approximately ninety-three percent of all U.S. soy and canola and eighty-six percent of our corn are genetically modified. There are informed positions on both sides of the debate around genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, pertaining to the health and long-term safety of these food products. But many assert that as long as this debate still rages, consumers deserve to know whether they’re eating and serving foods that have been genetically modified.
The US is one of the only industrialized nations that does not provide its consumers this assurance. In Europe, all products containing over .9 percent genetically modified organisms must be labeled as GMO products. Similar laws are in 61 other countries, including Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Here in the US, though, there’s no such standard. While 14 states have introduced legislation on GMO labeling, the most significant movement on the GMO labeling-front up to this point has been California’s Proposition 37, which will be voted on this November 6th. The Proposition, which would allow consumers to make informed choices about what they’re eating, has been under fire by a well-funded campaign. The No on 37 assault is backed by major agribusiness corporations who are trying hard to convince voters that adding one line to ingredient labels will significantly increase their food bills.
This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak again to Charles Margulis, the Communications Director for the Center for Environmental Health, a non-profit that has been a staunch supporter of Prop. 37, as well as Ashley Hathaway, a San Francisco-based nutritional therapist who’s also an advocate for more transparency in food labeling.