reported on May 3 that Californians are all set to vote on the labeling of genetically modified food.
Almost 75% of all supermarket foods sold in the U.S.A. are genetically modified, or contain GMO ingredients and currently the U.S.A. does not require labeling of these foods. Shoppers thus have no idea what they are buying. The produce could be natural, or you could be buying vegetables that have been modified with fish genes.
Monsanto does not want to label these products and now California
is out there fighting for the imposition of labeling of all GMO related products.
In the video Thom Hartmann interviews Alexis Baden-Meyer, the Political Director of the Organic Consumers Association
and they discuss the Right to Know campaign and why it is so necessary.
Baden-Meyer explains that GMOs have been in existence for 18 years, and that a whole generation has now been raised on unlabeled genetically modified food.
Hartmann asks Baden-Meyer if the growing obesity problem and increase in cancer in the U.S.A. could be related to GMOs. Baden-Meyer reports that these are some of the many issues that need to be studied.
She then brings up the subject of premature puberty, which is on the increase in the U.S.A. She connects the fact that cows are given bovine growth hormone to increase milk production with this phenomenon, and says that the types of hormones in the milk can cause children to experience premature puberty. However, she states that this has never been studied.
Baden-Meyer then talks about the California Right to Know
campaign and how they are going to put this issue on the ballot. She states that with Monsanto being able to give so many campaign contributions and spending so much money on marketing and lobbying, so far they have not been successful in the legislature, even though labeling of GMO foods has the support of 9 out of 10 Americans.
So now they are taking the cause to the voters and anticipate that with 9 out of 10 people supporting the initiative, they should be able to win.
Baden-Meyer then explains that in most of the industrial world, including China and Europe, the law states that GMO foods must be labeled.
She states that the people in those countries now know exactly what they are buying and consuming, they ask questions about the health effects of GMO food and that their governments have to investigate and regulate genetically engineered foods.
She reminds that bovine growth hormone was the first GMO to be introduced into the system and no other countries outside of the U.S. accepted it. Research concluded that this hormone might increase cancer rates, cause allergies, that it is less nutritious than normal milk and the rest of the world said "no".
Hartmann then discusses how he lived in Vermont for some time and that Ben and Jerry's ice cream came out with a label while he was there, stating that the ice cream contained no BGH (bovine growth hormone). Shortly afterwards the USDA came down on the company hard and said that they cannot say that the product does not contain BGH as this would cause people to worry about everything else that could contain it. He states that Monsanto was behind this.
May 2, 2012 was a historic day in California as the initiative delivered 971,126 signatures to 58 county registrars throughout the state. As their goal was to gather 850,000 signatures statewide, they have surpassed their goal. Nearly a million signatures gathered in a mere 10 weeks!
In the video below a very good question is asked - if their products are so great, why don't they advertise them by labeling the products?