Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Labeling of Genetically Engineered (GE) Ingredients Mandatory!

By Dr. Mercola

    Whole Foods recently announced the health food giant will make labeling
of genetically engineered (GE) ingredients mandatory in its American and
Canadian stores by 2018.

    (Whole Foods stores in Great Britain already require GE foods to be
labeled.) Many expect other retailers to follow suit.

    Despite the five-year deadline, which may seem long for some, this
announcement is incredibly encouraging and represents a major sign that all
the efforts most of you put into the Proposition 37 campaign have paid off.

We may have lost that battle but this, and other signs, strongly suggest we
are winning the war.

    Prop 37 raised an enormous amount of awareness about genetically
engineered (GE) foods (a.k.a. genetically engineered organisms or GMO’s).
Many Americans didn’t even know they existed prior to the California campaign
to require GE foods to be labeled.

    The Prop 37 campaign also ushered conversations about food to the front
pages of mainstream media. Over the past year, we’ve not only seen an
increase in the number of stories on genetically engineered foods, more
people are now also talking about other truth-in-labeling issues, and food
safety in general.

    People are waking up to the fact that we really don’t understand what
we’re eating anymore, and they’re taking control of their food again. Now,
other states, including Washington State and Missouri, are taking up the
baton to label GE foods. In all, 22 states now have some sort of pending
labeling legislation.

    Seeing the writing on the wall, the National Cooperative Grocers
Association (NGCA)1 recently wrote a letter to their members that now also
urges food manufacturers to stop funding or opposing GMO labeling. This is an
absolutely stupendous victory for our side that finally vindicates the hard
work so many of you put into this effort last year.

Whole Foods Responds to Consumer Demand for GMO Labeling

    Whole Foods Co-Chief Executive Walter Robb recently told the Los Angeles


        "This is an issue whose time has come. With cases like horse meat
discovered in the U.K., plastic in milk in China, the recalls of almond and
peanut butter in the U.S., customers have a fundamental right to know what's
in their food.... 'The government has not been willing to take on this issue,
so it's going to have to happen differently.'"

    According to a February 2012 poll of potential voters in the 2012 US
elections, 90 percent of responders were in favor of labeling GE foods.

There’s really NO reason not to, aside from protecting the biotech industry’s
profits. Americans are already responding favorably to those few products
that are labeled. A. C. Gallo, president of Whole Foods, told the New York


        “We’ve seen how our customers have responded to the products we do
have labeled. 'Some of our manufacturers say they’ve seen a 15 percent
increase in sales of products they have labeled [non-GMO].'”

    According to the featured article:4

        “Whole Foods' move will be copied by competitors, said Scott Faber,
vice president for government affairs for the advocacy organization
Environmental Working Group. 'Clearly, they're going to be the first of many
retailers who will require labeling as a condition of sale in their stores.'"

    It’s worth remembering that CA Prop 37 failed to be passed by just a few
percentage points back in November, even though the food and biotech industry
spent five times more money (a total of $46 million) on its propaganda
campaign than the supporters of the measure. That’s really a good indication
of how difficult this fight is for the industry. People want to know what
they’re eating, and convincing Americans to lay aside their concerns about GE
foods requires a lot of money and effort.

    It’s a challenge they can overcome, no doubt. But people are increasingly
seeing through the lame excuses, such as not wanting you to be “confused” by
the labels, or that labeling would raise food prices, or that labeling is
unnecessary because it’s “just as safe” as its conventional counterparts.
It’s all nonsense, and fortunately, it’s not flying as well as it used to.

     Continued in Next Post

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