In 2012, the FDA dismissed a petition signed by over one million people calling for GMO labeling, thereby making it clear that citizens would have to fight for their right to know one state at a time. A national coalition of states formed to co-ordinate efforts to label GMOs of which GMO Free PA is a member of. It is felt that by creating unity across the country, we can begin to make our voices heard.
In 2013 two GMO labeling bills were introduced in the PA Senate and House. SB653 was introduced in March and HB1770 was introduced in October. To that end, GMO Free PA recently launched the “Need to Know GMO PA” campaign to support this legislation and bring about a transparent and safe food supply in the Commonwealth of PA.
Why we NEED to know if it’s GMO?
In the past 18 months, ground-breaking peer-reviewed studies on the impacts of GMOs on animals, human health and the environment have come to light and they are shifting the playing field. Americans are now realizing that they need to know if their food is genetically engineered.
With mounting scientific evidence strongly indicating that genetically engineered crops and food products are unsafe, we must be able to trace and identify GMOs. Without labels this will not be possible. Here we list the five most important reasons why we “need to know if it’s GMO”:
1) There is a growing body of evidence that the consumption of GMOs is linked to auto-immune diseases, digestive disorders, infertility and cancer. People with illness need to safeguard their health and opt-out of the GMO experiment.
2) Federal agencies have demonstrated unwavering support for GMO Agriculture; it’s up to the states to set the standard for labeling laws before the federal government initiates watered down legislation which may preempt more effective state-level standards and/or delay implementation.
3) No labeling means no tracking of health impacts, no accountability, no liability. U.S. public health officials are unable to recognize linkages between GMO food intake and the many unexplained health problems facing Americans today. Nor can the corporations who sell these products be held accountable.
4) Loosened regulations are now allowing for increased chemical residues – the escalation of herbicide use comes at the expense of soil, plant and human health and undermines efforts toward sustainable agriculture.
5) Protecting the free market to prevent a global monopoly of the food and seed supply. GMO labeling will allow consumers to decide if they want to support the arguably reckless practices of particular agricultural interests, and is one immediate step toward a more informed, transparent and functional free market.
On October 21st 2013, the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility issued a statement strongly rejecting claims by GM seed developers and some scientists that there is a “scientific consensus” on GMO safety and that the debate on this topic is “over”. In addition, ENSSER endorsed the need for further independent scientific inquiry and informed public discussion on GMO product safety and urged GMO proponents to do the same.
“We feel compelled to issue this statement because the claimed consensus on GMO safety does not exist. The claim that it does exist is misleading and misrepresents the currently available scientific evidence and the broad diversity of opinion among scientists on this issue. Moreover, the claim encourages a climate of complacency that could lead to a lack of regulatory and scientific rigor and appropriate caution, potentially endangering the health of humans, animals, and the environment.”
With support from scientists around the world, Americans are beginning to learn, through peer-reviewed analysis and study, that GMOs do in fact present serious risks to our health. We have a need to know and it is imperative that food be labelled. Our well-being, and that of our future generations, depends on it.
The Need To Know GMO PA campaign is an opportunity for the citizens of PA to help establish the state as one of the front-runners in supporting this country’s freedom of choice by demanding to know what’s in our food. If you would like to participate in the campaign in a more instrumental way please contact us by clicking here: Right To Know PA
The labeling of genetically engineered products will not happen without YOUR help. Here is what you can do:
We need each and every one of you to act today! Please write and call your legislators today to tell them we deserve the right to know what is in our food so we can make our own informed choices. To find out who your legislators are and to retrieve their contact information, please click the “Find Your Legislator” button.