GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are the result of scientists taking one gene from one species and implanting it in another, creating a beneficial effect in the latter. Most Americans have been eating these GMOs for about 15 years now, whether it was to their knowledge or not.
Over about 15 years, not one person has died from some disorder or disease that was triggered by GMOs. Not one person has become noticeably sick from their ingestion, according to studies by the World Health Organization.
Proposition 37 would make California the first state required to label its products that have been genetically modified, supporting the consumers’ “right to know.”
However, there’s simply no need to suddenly start labeling these foods when they have been around for more than a couple of years, and have been digested in the human body more times than one person could possibly count. Labeling that exists today on products such as cigarettes and alcohol, suggest that the consumer needs to be aware of what they are purchasing, mostly because it poses a risk to their health.
However, GMOs don’t fall under this category, not to mention that they’re found pretty much everywhere.
In fact, the Center for Food Safety reports that up to 85 percent of corn produced in the U.S. is genetically modified, and a whopping 91 percent of soybean crops are as well. Not only is it unnecessary, but labeling would cost the nation more money than it’s actually worth.
The state Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that labeling GMOs would cost “a few hundred thousand dollars to over $1 million annually.”
Why spend the money to label something that is extremely beneficial to the country and is consumed on a daily basis?
Many crops have been genetically modified in order to be produced with great qualities at mass quantities to feed the growing U.S. population; the Census Bureau reports the population could increase to about 439 million people by the year 2050; an increase of almost 128 million.
That increase will demand an equal, if not greater, increase in food demand. GMOs can play a significant part in that demand by not only toughening up crops to fight against pests and harsh weather conditions, but also by giving them a much longer shelf life.
For those determined to see labels, well, that’s what the organic section of the supermarket is for. All-natural veggies and other foods are already available for those with real concerns. It’s simple logic using the process of elimination. What doesn’t have an organic labeling on the package isn’t organic; it doesn’t need a label stating the obvious.
What’s more, this law is too specific. It doesn’t focus on other problems with food production, such as growth hormones, pesticides and horrible animal treatment; these are issues that actually could pose health risks for consumers. Yet only GMOs are targeted by Proposition 37, despite being one of the most accepted and safe modifications that one can make to our food.
Supporters of food labeling aren’t interested in educating the public. They don’t have hopes that sticking a label on a food product will further inform the consumer on what is healthy. The health advocates backing Proposition 37 simply want to push for their preferences in the market and for their initiatives to be known. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon and fearing genetically modified food, consumers need to use their own heads rather than someone else’s.
All it takes is a computer and a small amount of research to uncover the true facts about GMOs.
Instead of labeling food products that have shown no risks to human health and shouldn’t even spark an issue in our struggling economy, maybe America should label its own people as foolish followers of phony campaigns.