Why we need mandatory labelling and much more

There are some amazing things going on in the States about mandatory labeling, with 25 proposals in US State legislatures, and a ballot initiative in Washington State coming up this November.

Industry is running scared and according to a recent news report may have accepted that labeling is going to take place.


But labeling can only be one part of the solution to the problem of GE crops and animals. Take the case of cigarette labeling. According to Wikepedia, smoking rates in the United States have dropped by half from 1965 to 2006 falling from 42% to 21% of adults. So even though many people know that there is a direct connection between smoking and cancer, and this is spelt out on cigarette packets, and despite at least 15 years of labeling, there were still 21% of Americans smoking.

So if we get mandatory labeling of GE foods, it might take a similar 15 years for people to stop eating GE foods. In the meantime industry might say: “It’s labelled so people have a choice, and in any case regulatory authorities have approved GE food as safe, so now we can introduce GE wheat and rice.”

And, as we’ve seen with smoking, it tends to be people from lower income groups who smoke more. A low income single mom with three kids doesn’t have the same food choices as a higher income family who can afford to shop at Whole Foods – and we know who reads labels more. So if we just focus on labeling then we are discriminating against people who tend to read labels less – new immigrants, poorer groups and single moms.

This is why GE Free BC totally supports mandatory labeling (and supported Greenpeace’s campaign over two years for mandatory labeling in BC from 2007-2009), but also wants a ban on all GE crops and animals. We don’t only want GE foods labelled, we want them gone altogether, so no-one is eating them. That is why we are focusing on GE Free zone resolutions, because these are communities saying no to GE crops and animals altogether. And also why we are focusing on single crops like the GE apple – we don’t just want these crops labeled, we want them stopped.


4 responses to “Why we need mandatory labelling and much more

  1. I totally agree. Labeling is not enough!! It has to be stopped dead in it’s tracks !!!

  2. GMO labeling is not the solution at all, this for several reasons: First, GMOs have been introduced into the North American market illegally. They have been commercialized at large with no appropriate independent long term safety studies. Our corrupted institutions in collusion with the biotech industry have modified and ignored all basic safety principles applied for more that one hundred year and pushed these substantially altered and modified foods to massive commercialization. The institutions in charge of these GMOs approval have done all type of administrative manipulations to demonstrate that these GM Foods were GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) or equivalent to non-GMO foods to avoid to perform adequate long term health safety studies. The joke is that at the same time they were giving patent to the biotech companies on these GE foods acknowledging by this that these GE foods were substantially different than their non-GMO “equivalent”. In addition of this, all scientists from these institutions are perfectly aware of the huge difference between the GE foods that can be patented and the non-GMO foods that has been developed over hundreds of year and of the uncertainty attached to the process of genetic engineering. In July 1974, the Committee on Recombinant DNA Molecules was informing the US Government regarding genetic engineering and the Potential Biohazards of Recombinant DNA Molecules.
    The committee was asking the US Government : “Nonetheless, our concern for the possible unfortunate consequences of indiscriminate application of these techniques motivate us to urge all scientists working in this area to join us in agreeing not to initiate experiments of the Type I and II above until attempts have been made to evaluate the hazards and some resolutions of the outstanding questions has been achieved.” As a response to this very serious scientific advice and concern by the Committee the US Government decided to skip any long term impact safety study and to simply approved these GMO foods for massive commercialization under the GRAS principle (Generally Recognize As Safe). Second, the GMO labelling will not stop the spread of these dangerous GMOs and the environmental adverse impacts of these GMOs will continue to corrupt and destroyed de foods chain. Thirdly, the major increase in the spreading of the herbicide (Roundup) since the introduction of these GMOs and the development of super weeds represent one another serious health and environmental negative impact. The labeling of GMOs is not at all the solution. The complete interdiction of the illegal GMOs until all appropriate long term, independent impact studies have been conducted is the only viable solution.

  3. Corn products, round cornchips and popcorn make me hack up phlegm. Its uncomfortable and gross.

  4. My favorite “slab” icecream is now out. It was ok for a while there but now the phlegm hacking has begun. Guess ill have to find some raw and make it myself now. Maybe its GM alfalfa in the feed.

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