I encourage the community to vote “Yes” on Proposition 37 to label genetically engineered food. The main reason is consumers have the right to know what they eat. Genetically engineered food uses a technology that takes the DNA or genes of one organism, such as bacteria, and inserts them into another organism, such as a plant, to impart a desired trait. For example, Monsanto has created corn, including sweet corn, that is engineered with genes from bacteria to withstand sprayings of Roundup herbicide, and the corn itself produces an insecticide.
Other genetically engineered crops on the market in the United States are soybeans, canola, cotton, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, and some zucchini and yellow crookneck squash. These ingredients appear in many processed foods and consumer products. However, without labeling it is not clear which products contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Lately, there has been a rise in food allergies and food sensitivities. There has been a link between food allergies and food sensitivities to learning, behavioral, and mood disorders. Do we know if GMOs cause these or other health risks? We cannot be sure unless we can identify what we put in our bodies.
This measure only requires companies to clearly label genetically engineered food. It will not create an additional cost to the consumer. The opposition will state that this will be an expensive procedure and will increase the price of food. This is not true. These companies change their labels all the time, and their only expense would be the additional ink.
Nearly 50 countries including all of Europe, Australia, Japan and China require the labeling of GE food. However, the United States does not have this requirement.
We do have the right to know what is in our food. We do have a right to choose what we eat. Let California lead the way, and let’s vote “Yes” on Proposition 37. For more information, go to www.carighttoknow.org.
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