Friday, October 26, 2012

Top 10 Reasons to Label and Avoid GMOs

I recently wrote another article for the EcoEtsy blog.  I hope you will check it out and share with your friends in California where there is an initiative on the ballot to label GMOs.  This is my top 10 list, but please check out the full article which also includes comments from one of my EcoEtsy Team mates, Nancy of SoulRole and the full length film Genetic Roulette, which available to watch free through November 6th.

Top 10 reasons to label and avoid GMOs
1) We have a right to know what is in our foods, so we have the freedom to choose what to eat and what kind of agriculture practices we support.  Without labeling we don’t know what is in our food, though it is estimated that 80% of processed foods contain GMO.
2) The US falls short in best accepted policies for GMO labeling.  50 countries now label genetically engineered foods including Australia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, the European Union and China.
3) Serious health issues are linked with GMOs in humans and animals including: cancerinfertility,allergies, and irritable bowels.  We do not have assurance of safety.  The Food and Drug Administration does not test GMOs despite warnings from it’s own scientists.  GMO manufacturers suppress independent safety testing with patenting of seeds.
4) Herbicides and Pesticides used in GMO farming are highly dangerous to farmers health.
5) GMO farming increases use of toxic herbicides creating superweeds.  These superweeds lead tomore pesticide  use.
6) GMOs contaminate the natural and Organic seed supply through pollination between GMO and Non-GMO crops.
7) GMOs do not improve crop yields.  This is particularly important in the context of climate change and drought.  Organic crops have shown to consistently produce better under drought conditions.
8) GMOs are dangerous to the livelihood of farmers.  Unlike traditional crops farmers are not allowed to save seed to replant for future sowing.  Farmers face expensive court battles, including Monsanto versus Vernon Hugh Bowman whose case will be heard in the Supreme Court.
9) GMOs promote seed slavery.  A seed is not an invention. That is why patents on seeds are illegitimate. Even in a genetically engineered crop, the original seed come from farmers. Patents on seed are based on biopiracy… Patents on seed allow corporations to prevent farmers from saving andexchanging seed. Thus patent violates farmers’ right to save, use, reuse, breed and exchange seed as their commons.
10) Labeling will offer more options for the consumer at no extra cost, because they will have the opportunity to vote with their dollars.  Opponents of Prop 37 suggest that labeling GMOs will result in increased food prices.  However there is no evidence that  food prices have increased in the many countries that have implemented GMO labeling.
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