In my lifetime, I’ve lost close to 200 lbs. over pregnancies. The more I lost and got serious about my health, the more I started to consider where my food was coming from. For most things, all the information is right there on the label…
…except for genetically engineered foods.
So what is a genetically engineered food? According to CA Right to Know (Prop. 37 in California), “a genetically engineered food (also known as genetically modified organism, or GMO) is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration is engineered in a laboratory, and is not found in nature.”
It’s estimated that 70% of our food on grocery shelves contains GMOs, compared to only 5% in Europe. The early 1990′s the FDA allowed all sorts of things into our food supply such as additives, preservatives, and GMOs. Since then we’ve had some significant changes to the health of our children. According to Healthy Child Healthy World these are stats about differences in illness in children since early 90s.
400% increase in food allergies
300% increase in asthma
400% increase in ADHD
1,500% increase in autism
In America, our government says “prove it’s NOT safe”…and in Europe they had a different approach. They said “you need to prove it IS safe.” Those are two very different approaches to food safety. Today GMOs comprise about 70% of the food supply at the grocery store, compared to 5% in Europe. Hmmm…that’s strange. I wonder why that is? In fact, American companies such as Hersheys has reformulated their products in Europe to be GMO free. And yet Hershey’s still has GMOs in their products in the US.
There has been NO independent testing of whether GMOs are safe for consumption in the US and I’ll tell you why. Testing the safety of a product requires you to have a “control group” and that is a group of people who DON’T eat GMOs. You compare that group with the group that DOES eat GMOs. With over 70% of our grocery aisles full of GMOs and no labeling on any products, that is virtually impossible. Pretty much everyone consumes GMOs, including myself. We are completely unaware of what is genetically modified and what isn’t.
We have a fundamental right to know what we are eating. We have a right to know what is in our food. Labeling is a bipartisan issue: 89% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats are FOR labeling genetically engineered foods. No matter what part of the aisle we stand in, we all eat. And we all stand for transparency and freedom.
Changing History: Right now California has an initiative on the ballot to label genetically engineered foods in packages. It’s Prop 37. #Yeson37 means that packaged foods companies have till January of 2014 to relabel everything on grocery shelves. Never before have the people had a chance to vote on this issue. Until today, it’s only been the legislature. BUT the opposition is spending in between $60-100 million to confuse the voters about what this is about. And we have a fight on our hands from now till November.
So how can you get involved?
Would you like to join the Evangelist Team? Prop. 37 is enlisting the help of bloggers all over the United States and Canada to help educate everyone about the opportunity we have RIGHT NOW in November. If we can change the labeling laws in California we may be changing labeling all over the United States in the process. If everyone talks about the Prop. 37 online, we WILL reach most Californians.
We all have a right to know what is in our food. And supporting this proposition and reaching California voters is also a vote for the rest of the nation. Throwing some of your influence at this issue can really make a difference because it’s very likely that if this is passed in California, it will get rolled out nationwide by most companies. It would be cost prohibitive not to.
Here are some additional ways you can help.
1. Talk about this issue as much as you can from now till November. Use both hashtags #yeson37 & #labelgmos when doing so.
2. Help us get some celebrities on board. Tweet at who you think could really help us and ask them where they stand on the issue.
3. Help us recruit other Evangelists. You can tweet this message:
Passionate abt. labeling #GMOs? Join #CARighttoknow Evangelist Team to make a difference! http://bit.ly/NiCGV4 #yeson37
4. Join our twitter chat on August 10th from 10-11pm EST/7-8pm PST. SAVE THE DATE. (Post to come)
5. Write a post for us about Labeling GMOs the week of August 10th and let your audience know about our twitter chat
6. Share this post on Facebook.