Freedom of Information and GMO labeling

The debate goes on between big money and marketing, and consumers rights to make personal choices.

Recent newspaper articles have highlighted all of the “reasons” that Monsanto, DuPont, Bayer, and the parent companies of Cheerios, Chef Boyardee, Nestles, Coke and Pepsi are pouring millions into defeating the Prop 37 ballet measure; as I read them, they appear more like money motivated excuses than legitimate reasoning.

Let us not forget when money influenced advertising promoting “Smoking” as good for our health; trans-fats did not influence obesity or health issues. That corn syrup is the same as any other “Natural” sugar and of course alcohol and health. As consumers we make choices every day on our health. Sometimes the choices are driven solely by our budget and other times by health conditions that limit what we can eat. If we live in a country where freedom of information rules, why are these companies so fearful of labeling a GMO in their products?

Many Important Warnings Already

I recently dined at a restaurant with several warning signs on the wall. Universally in this country we see the warnings on alcohol labels and restaurant walls. This was a new one to me: “Chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer or birth defects, or other reproductive harm may be present in foods or beverages sold or served here.”  Seeing this warning sign did not influence my purchasing decision, it reminded me that I was making a choice. I feel both privileged and entitled to make a choice.

I realize that as the warning signs become a pervasive aspect of our food labeling we may become immune to them. As a health care provider I am constantly asking people to read the labels, asking them to make healthy choices. We cannot be responsible for our health and our choices with out the information being provided on the labeling.

As we know, in our country, what is new and untested is innocent until proven guilty. Research outside of these power house companies is beginning to link health concerns to the GMO grains and seeds (see this informative video ). We have seen time and time again that all that is man made, new and wonderful is ultimately, not so much so. We are trifling with a natural progression of genetic evolution that probably should be left alone and will not be and unfortunately, only time will tell the truth on the subject.

We are not going to change what these companies are doing to make money, but what we can do is vote for our right to be informed about what they are doing with our food; enforcing our rights as individuals to the freedom of information and ultimately a freedom of choice.

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