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article imageAMA is considering labels on genetically engineered food

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By Anne Sewell     Jun 1, 2012 in Food
The American Medical Association is now considering the labeling of products that contain genetically modified or engineered foods.
While Monsanto continues to emphasize that there is no difference between traditional and genetically modified organisms, and while most medical organizations currently believe this, things are about to hopefully change.
The American Medical Association (AMA) might soon support the labeling of GMOs through federal legislation or regulation.
Hoping to accelerate the process towards direct labeling of GMOs, the Illinois State Medical Society and the Indiana State Medical Association have both introduced resolutions to the AMA on this subject. These resolutions urge the AMA to back labeling initiatives, such as Right to Know.
The AMA will be holding its annual meeting on June 17th, and will reportedly be considering the proposals at that meeting. Not only is the list of individuals and organizations pushing for labelling huge, the resolutions submitted to the AMA are also backed by many researchers and physicians, including Dr. Martha Herbert, a pediatric neurologist and past vice-chair of the Council of Responsible Genetics.
In response to the secretive nature of GMOs and the subsequent lack of real knowledge on their wide scale effects, Dr. Herbert stated:
“Tracking the millions of people with vulnerable immune systems and their reaction to novel proteins and virus fragments in genetically engineered food is impossible without food labeling.”
What this means is that since GMOs are currently "incognito" in the food supply and are being consumed by unsuspecting people, it is very difficult to tie the GMOs directly to a condition. For instance, increases in cancer may have arisen as a result of GMO consumption but it may be nearly impossible to isolate the incidents and specifically link GMOs to the onset of the disease. People with allergies are consuming foods that, having been genetically modified, might contain the DNA of a food they are allergic to.
Because of this it is extremely difficult to bring down Monsanto with a lawsuit. They could simply say that it is impossible to prove that GMOs were directly responsible.
What is known, however, is that GMOs have been linked to a number of problems for both the environment and humans. Insects like rootworms are continually evolving to become yet more resistant to heavy pesticide usage on GMO crops, which leads to farmers having to douse the crops with even more brain-damage-linked pesticides.
Not only does this pose a serious threat to the environment, but also to human health. On top of this, by the creation of "superbugs" that threaten farmlands, Monsanto's creations are changing the very way that insects respond to chemical pesticides. Nature will always try and find balance.
As a result, warnings by the EPA and scientific groups have begun surfacing.
With even mainstream medical groups coming out to lend support to the labeling of GMOs, it is time that the government responds appropriately to the overwhelming support towards the many labeling initiatives and campaigns currently in the works worldwide.
Of interest to read is the Indiana delegation's recommendations to the AMA House of Delegates - on page 32 of this document.
The recommendations of the Illinois recommendation can be viewed on page 31.
Anyone wishing to support these recommendations can do so by signing a petition to send a request to Dr. Roger Brown of the AMA.
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