GMOs - Why do we care about our foods being labled?
What Are Genetically Engineered Foods (GMOs)?
A genetically engineered food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria in order to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature and is experimental. Many of the foods we currently eat and feed our families (including certain baby formulas and a high percentage of corn, soy, and sugar beets, commonly used in processed foods sold in the U.S.), are genetically modified, but we don’t know which ones without labeling.
What are the effects of GMOs?
GMOs have not been proven safe and long-term health studies in the U.S. have not been conducted. A growing number of studies in other countries have linked these foods to allergies, organ toxicity, and other health problems. These studies must be followed up. However, unlike the strict safety evaluations required for the approval of new drugs, the US Food and Drug Administration does not require safety studies for genetically engineered foods. The United Nations/World Health Organization food standards group and the American Medical Association have called for mandatory safety testing of genetically engineered foods -- a standard the U.S. fails to meet. GMOs not only affect our health, but they also have a serious impact economically, and environmentally. Below are some links to articles regarding the effects of GMOs:
What can you do to help push GMOs out of the food supply?
Any level of support will help!
1. Educate Yourself! The above article links are great places to start. Reputable sites on the internet, as well as local organizations, carry a wealth of information for the informed consumer - that's you!
For updates on what's going on in the U.S., click here.
2. Buy Non-GMO Products. Below are some helpful guides to products which are non-GMO and summary of tips to avoid GMOs:
Non-GMO SHOPPER'S GUIDE
Tips to Avoid GMOs
3. Take Action!Below are a few websites and Facebook sites for you to visit for signing petitions, and taking part in the non-GMO movement.
- La Cienega Farmers' Market - Facebook page
- Food Democracy Now
- Food Democracy Now- Facebook page
- Institute for Responsible Technology
- Institute for Responsible Technology - Facebook page
- Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association
- Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association - Facebook page
- Non-GMO Project
- Non-GMO Project - Facebook page
- California Right To Know
- California Right To Know - Facebook page
4. Involve Others in your Community. Here are a few suggestions on how to get the word out about GMOs and how important it is that our foods are labeled!
- Start a discussion about GMOs with your friends and family.
- Share info through social media.
- Ask local restaurants to offer non-GMO foods.
- Meet with others to form local action groups.
- Contact your local city politicians.
In Celebration of Food Day 2012, La Cienega Farmers' Market provided a GMO Awareness booth for its shoppers.