Should Genetically Engineered Crops be Labelled?

July 5, 2012

Current Events, Nutrition

Are those potato chips made from GMO crops?

“A high-stakes food fight in California is getting more heated. A proposal to require labeling of foods with genetically engineered ingredients has qualified to appear on the state ballot Nov. 6.” The outcome of the vote, according to a recent USAToday article by Elizabeth Weise, could be different than the similar initiatives that failed in Oregon and Vermont.

California Leads the Nation

As the most populous state in the union and the third largest state, California regularly leads the charge for effecting change on the national stage. Historically California has paved the way for stricter national guidelines in areas such as vehicle emissions standards and greenhouse gas regulations.

Whether you agree with their tactic or not, California is on the front lines of policy changes for the nation.

Personally, I usually do not agree with the heavy-handed tactics of California nor the positions that they are pushing. However in this case, I hope the voters pass the ballot measure. And I hope it spreads to other states and even a national standard.

Are Genetically Modified Organisms Safe to Eat?

The manufacturers say “GMO’s are safe to eat.” The FDA agrees with them, but then again, most of the senior leadership at the FDA have worked at Monsanto in the past and will likely work there again. So, I’m saddened to say that I don’t have a great deal of confidence in their impartiality in the matter.

Much of the rest of the world, including Europe and Japan, disallow food containing GMOs due to safety concerns.

There have been some physical ailments, including Morgellon’s Disease, linked to consuming food manufactured from GMOs.

Invigorate360 has a good article on the Top 10 Dangers of Genetically Modified Food.

The unfortunate answer to this simple question is “We don’t really know.” There hasn’t been a long term study to determine its safety. Everyone who eats GMO food is a actively participating in a grand experiment.

Tips to Avoid GMOs

GMO-laced food is so pervasive in the American food supply that it’s nearly impossible to opt out of the great experiment that’s being conducted on the American people.

Avoiding GMO foods is difficult, but there ways to curtail your intake if not eliminate it altogether.

  • Start your own garden. Growing some of your own food is a great way to become  more food independent. And while very few will ever be able to meet all of their nutritional needs, every little bit helps.
  • Avoid canola oil and cottonseed oil. These oils are most certainly a product of genetically engineered crops. Instead look for olive oil or coconut oils. Laura’s written about the tremendous benefits of coconut oil.
  • Buy organically grown foods. Although the term “organic” lost much of its original meaning once the government got involved and began certifying crops as such, it can still be used as to help determine whether the crops have been genetically modified. Look for the organic label.
  • Join a Consumer Supported Agriculture (CSA). Many local farmers sale shares of their produce at the start of the growing season and provide a weekly delivery of their crops throughout the summer. Ask if they are organic or use GMO-free plants.
  • Visit your local farmer’s market. Buying locally grown foods is a good idea.  I’ve written about the benefits of locally produced food before. Talk with the farmer about his planting and growing practices.

What do you think? Are GMO-based foods a great way to solve world hunger? Or are they dangerous for us and for the environment? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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14 Comments on “Should Genetically Engineered Crops be Labelled?”

  1. eileen Says:

    If one just considered Monstersanto’s achievements in creating deadly toxins, perhaps we would not be so agreeable to their producing the world’s food supply. As pointed out in the article the revolving door employment between BigAg and government agencies does not inspire confidence that the people’s interests will come first.
    I do not appreciate being involved in this experiment without my consent. What are the long term effects, and how does one recall these GMO’s once unleashed?
    It was suggested to avoid canola and cottonseed oils, I would add corn and soybean to the list as they are mostly GM too. We use peanut oil and lard.
    As for growing a garden, be careful what seeds you buy or you may end up growing GM veggies. Contact the supplier, or do an internet check to see which seed companies Monsanto has bought up, and to whom they supply their seed.


    • Joe Says:

      Thanks for commenting, Eileen. Great point about the garden. We buy the heirloom variety seeds whenever we can. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds ( has a good assortment, but there are other places as well.

      The heirloom tomatoes taste better than the GMO varieties that you get in the grocery stores.



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