While on the campaign trail in 2007, Barack Obama promised to label GMO foods if elected. Now’s the time! Today an estimated 80% of processed foods contain GMOs. Tell President Obama you agree that the U.S. needs GMO labeling “because Americans should know what they’re buying”.
In America, we pride ourselves on having choices and making informed decisions. Under current FDA regulations, we don’t have that choice when it comes to GMO ingredients in the foods we purchase and feed our families. Labeling is essential for those to choose whether or not we want to consume or feed their family genetically engineered foods.
The US government’s refusal to label genetically modified foods has been based on a policy that GM foods are “substantially equivalent” to conventional foods that was established by the Food and Drug Administration in 1992. However, internal FDA documents revealed that the agency’s own scientists expressed doubts about the GM food labeling policy when it was being established, while raising questions about GM food safety.
In a February 1992 memo, Louis J. Pribyl, Ph.D., a scientiest in the FDA’s Microbiology Group, critiqued a draft of the policy by writing, “There is a profound difference between the types of unexpected effects from traditional breeding and genetic engineering which is just glanced over in this document.” Dr. Pribyl added that “several aspects of gene insertion may be more hazardous than traditional plant crossbreeding.”
In a January 1992 memo, Linda Kahl, Ph.D., an FDA compliance officer, emphasized the lack of scientific data to recognize the safety of GM foods. “Are we asking the scientific experts to generate the basis for this policy statment in the absence of any data?” she asked. “There is no data that could quantify risk.”
E.J. Matthews, Ph.D., of the FDA’s Toxicology group, warned in an October 1991 memo, “genetically modified plants could also contain unexpected high concentrations of plant toxicants.”
According to Steven M. Druker, J.D., executive director of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity, “Numerous agency experts protested that drafts of the statement of policy were ignoring the recognized potential for genetic engineering to produce unexpected toxins and allergens. But the policy was put into effect despite their scientific judgement that no GM foods can be presumed safe.”
When a foreign substance enters the human body, the defense mechanism is to attack it. If a foreign substance enters a plant, it also may attack it as a threat producing a toxic defense mechanism.
Genetically engineered foods are required to be labeled in the 15 European Union nations, Russia, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and many other ountries around the world.
A recent poll released by ABC News found the 93 percent of the American public wants the federal government to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. As ABC News stated, “Such near-unanimity in public opinion is rare.”
For the past 20 years. Americans have been denied the right to know what’s in their food. Help make this the Change We Can Believe In: Label GMOs!