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Just Label It: We Have the Right to Know

by Josh Vincent — last modified Oct 21, 2011 07:41 PM

NCAP supports the new national campaign for mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods.

Just Label It

 

Genetically engineered (GE) foods, also referred to as genetically modified or containing GMOs, consist of plants or animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to produce traits that would not occur naturally.

Since the introduction of GE technology in the mid-1990s, no widely commercialized GE crop variety to date has contributed significantly to the broad array of sustainability issues.  A great deal of the hype around GE crops and sustainability, nutrition, and productivity remains hypothetical. The regulatory system for GE is weak, and legal restrictions regarding GE varieties are a major impediment to the free flow of scientific ideas and resources critical to the future of the food system. Genetic engineering has also threatened the viability of important value-added and identity-preserved markets in agriculture, including organic agriculture.

Importantly, the proliferation of GE crops has substantially increased pesticide use.

Many GE crops are designed to be resistant to commercial herbicides allowing the crop to tolerate more herbicide spraying without affecting crop growth. Genetically engineered crops have been credited with an increase of 383 million pounds of herbicide use in the U.S. over the first 13 years of commercial use (1996- 2008). In August of 2011, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported that glyphosate (the active ingredient in the herbicide “Roundup”) is now a common component of the air and rain in the Midwest during the spring and summer.

As a direct result of widespread use of genetically modified herbicide tolerant crops, populations of weeds (“superweeds”) have developed resistance to herbicides and are now present in 26 states. Not surprisingly, farmers have increasingly needed to revert to using older and more toxic herbicides like dicamba and 2,4-D (one of the ingredients in the Vietnam War era defoliant Agent Orange).  These herbicides are known to cause reproductive problems, birth defects, and increased risk of cancer.

NCAP believes the public has a right to know not only what is in their food, but also how that food is produced. For that reason and others, we support the push for mandatory GE food-labeling.

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Tell the FDA to Label GE Foods