We all strive to have healthier, more organic lifestyles. Unfortunately, the Food & Drug Administration, which controls the food labeling process, has so far deemed it unnecessary to tell consumers whether they are buying food that contains genetically engineered ingredients. Given the myriad of evidence that there could be serious side effects and health consequences associated with recent studies of foods with these ingredients, we should all consider carefully as to whether we want this type of food on our tables.
Genetically Engineered Ingredients in Our Food
Right now you’re probably thinking that labeling food that contains genetically modified ingredients wouldn’t make much of a difference to your purchasing habits, since there’s so little of it. You will probably be surprised to know that more than 80% of the processed food found at a typical grocery store contains genetically engineered ingredients. Both the American Public Health Association and the American Nurses Association advise against the use of genetically modified ingredients – specifically the use of bovine growth hormone in dairy cows – as it has been linked to cancer risks. They have also strongly recommended the labeling of such products to allow consumers to choose whether they want to buy genetically modified foods. In October of 2011 the American Nurses Association put their full support behind the Justlabelit.org campaign. Australia, New Zealand, and Japan have methods in place to label foods with genetically engineered ingredients – so why don’t we? Meanwhile, the European Union has had labeling in place for the past 14 years, but the United States fails to follow suit. Even the World Health Organization is working on recommendations for labeling, but the FDA refuses to recognize the need for such disclosure. We have a choice to select foods with organic ingredients, low sodium, and low sugar based on package labeling in order to lead healthier lifestyles, so why shouldn’t we have the choice to avoid foods that have been genetically modified?
Just Label It
Just Label It is campaigning the FDA to label genetically engineered foods so consumers can make an informed decision as to whether they want to consume these products. Their goal is to have 1 million signatures by spring 2012 in order to present to the agency as proof positive that consumers no longer want to be in the dark about genetically engineered foods. In order to sign the petition you can go to www.justlabelit.org and fill out the petition form, which takes less than one minute. You can even choose to receive regular updates on the status of the campaign so you can follow the progress of Just Label It. You have a right to know what’s in your food, so help Just Label It tell the FDA that this is what American consumers want!