Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

A Consumer Reports (Nov 2008) poll found that 95% of respondents thought food from genetically engineered animals should be labeled and a MSNBC (Feb 2011) poll found that 96% of voters believe genetically modified foods should be labeled.  Recently Just Label It provided a letter signed by over 1.2 million citizens but FDA reviewers counted it as only 394 comments.

Whole Foods Market announced at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California that they have implemented a plan throughout their stores in the United States and Canada that, by 2018, will have the GMO Content declared on the packaging from food to supplements to personal and pet care products. Whole Foods Market is clearly listening to their consumer base and responding to the their needs.

Who is the FDA listening to?

Don’t expect a GMO product free Whole Foods Markets soon. It isn’t that they might like that but estimates are that over 80% of all processed foods contain GMOs. Around 90% of all canola, soy and corn grown in the US is genetically modified as well as the majority of sugar beets which produce most of the sugar for processed foods. Thinking to avoid GMOs by buying a locally raised pig, check first to see if the farmer is finishing the pig off with commercially available corn. Was that wonderful free range egg produced by a small farm flock with commercial cracked corn as part of their diet?

I know you can line up thousands of scientists on each side of the GMO argument with all of their own nuances and ifs and buts with no consensus agreement, much like Congress. At this point you had better hope the Monsanto scientists are right because the FDA has allowed GMO products to effectively take over the store shelves. Going forward the larger issue that needs addressing is getting the FDA to put the needs of the citizens they are empowered to protect ahead of the lobbyists for the firms that they are supposed to be protecting us from.

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