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article imageOp-Ed: 'Label It Yourself' campaign — Citizen action to label GMOs

By Anne Sewell     Mar 20, 2012 in Food
A nationwide campaign has begun in the USA to label foods that may contain GMOs, to make the public aware of the dangers of genetically modified organisms in food.
People from across the USA, who are concerned by the increasing scientific data that indicates serious economic, environmental and public health risks associated with GMOs, are taking matters into their own hands by labeling foods that may contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms). The nationwide campaign to "Label it Yourself" has begun.
If there is nothing to hide, why hide it?
Polls have consistently demonstrated that the vast majority of Americans want to know if the food they are purchasing contains GMOs. They have a right to know what they are buying and consuming.
More than 40 countries around the world require the labeling of genetically engineered food. However, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has refused mandatory labeling, citing industry claims that genetically engineered food is the same as conventional food. But with an estimated 80% of processed food in the USA containing GMOs, Label It Yourself is asking: “If there’s nothing to hide, why hide it?”
What are GMOs?
GMOs, also known as transgenics, are plants or animals that have been created by splicing DNA into them from other plants, animals, bacteria, or viruses, in order to create an organism that would not otherwise occur in nature. Most of the GMOs on the market have been created to tolerate herbicides and pesticides applied to crops, in many cases incorporating the pesticide into the plant itself.
Health, Nutritional and Environmental Effects
While the long-term impact of GMOs on humans are unknown, increasing evidence connects these genetically modified organisms with potential health problems (including infertility, birth defects, allergies, and digestive problems), environmental damage (including degraded soil health, and biological pollution) and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.
 Label It Yourself  campaign
'Label It Yourself' campaign
OWS Food Justice
As more and more like-minded citizens across the USA advocate mandatory labeling, the Label It Yourself campaign offers shoppers tools to know what products are most likely to contain GMOs, and also to label the products themselves.
Open source labels are available for download so that people can create stickers to do their own labeling of GMO food products in stores.
Photos of citizen-labeled products uploaded by users to the Label It Yourself website show non-organic meats and dairy, soft drinks, breakfast cereals, granola bars, fast food, soy milk, pancake mix and corn chips, among others products, as potentially containing GMO's.
 Label It Yourself  campaign
'Label It Yourself' campaign
OWS Food Justice
93% of US consumers support labeling of GMOs
A 2010 Thomson Reuters PULSE™ Healthcare Survey poll found that 93% of US consumers support the labeling of GMOs. And yet, despite these findings, and President Obama’s promise during his presidential campaign to push for labeling, the US government has refused to allow labels for GMO food to appear on grocery shelves in America.
“Human beings are not just consumers or voters as the corporate and political advertising industry likes to believe. People are free, and they want the truth, which, if you think about it, is the only thing worth advertising,” says a member of the Occupy Wall Street Food Justice Working group.
“Label It Yourself is a citizen’s campaign to empower people to make informed decisions about the food they buy, without waiting for government or corporations to do it for them.”
The Label It Yourself Campaign can be visited on their own website, and also on Facebook and Twitter (#Labelityourself, #LIY, #LIYGMO).
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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