A letter writer (TNT, 7-20) states that “hundreds of studies have proved genetically modified foods to be safe.” The majority of such studies were financed by Monsanto and other the mega-agribusinesses, purveyors of highly processed and engineered food products that are now under increasing scrutiny by nutritional researchers.
There are medical and agricultural experts aplenty with grave concerns about the health implications of consuming GMOs (as well as the agricultural hazards of releasing these strains into our eco-system in general). U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has acknowledged this growing groundswell of concern from the scientific community as well as the public at large.
Monsanto and others argue that labeling the GM ingredients of their products will be costly and will unnecessarily scare and confuse customers. Were we scared and confused when these producers were first required to list ingredients, including calories, fat and sodium content?
In November 2012, Monsanto and Big Food spent more than $46 million just prior to the referendum on I-522 in California in a desperate and successful effort to convince the public that they didn’t need to know if GM ingredients were in their products. The bill was defeated by a narrow margin.
We in Washington must show that we are less susceptible to this kind of manipulation. By saying “yes” to I-522, we insist on our right to know what is in the food we buy, and tell Big Food that this information will not scare or confuse us.