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What Genetically Altered Food Means For The Labeling Industry

August 01, 2012

“Genetic Modification” also known as “Genetically Engineered” or “Transgenic”, refers to anything that has had genetic makeup (organisms) altered. This process is becoming more common with farmers, who generally use this alteration to make their products insect-resistant. How does this relate to the labeling industry, you wonder? Go ahead, read on…

As “genetically engineering” things such as food becomes more popular, it has also raised great questions from farmers who grow organic fruits and vegetables. Under Proposition 37, should foods that have been genetically modified be labeled so the consumer has a choice of what product they are buying?

This discussion of labeling most products that have been in a sense changed has brought good points from farmers who use both of these methods. The products that would need to be labeled would be most of the ones sold in California. People are asking these products be labeled because they say it’s only fair to consumers that they know what they are putting into their bodies.

On one side of the spectrum, labeling these products will not only cost more money, but have been pointed out as “un-necessary”. In an article published by FoxNews.com Brandon Castillo a spokesman for the opposing side said, “If you get into the history of this, we’ve been genetically modifying crops for thousands of years. In recent decades through biology and modern science, we’re able to be much more efficient and frankly safer about it.”

This brings more questions to mind. Would these labels simply say, “this product has been genetically altered”? Would there be more on the label including how the product has been altered or why the product has been altered? Would they put these fruits or vegetables in different places at the grocery store or the famers market?

What do you think should be placed on these labels? What do consumers really want to know?

1 Comment
Aladine on Oct 15, 2012 in 12:42pm
There are so many problems with geincetally engineered animals and vegetables. Where to begin?When this became a reality under George Bush's administration,(not George W.- his father) resided over by his Vice President, there was a clear decision not to allow anyone to know anything about the details. Patents were bandied about. Shrimp genes in tomatoes, human genes in other vegetables. So you want to eat humans? Remember, genes are actual biological realities. They give you the make up of who you are.. eye color/hair color. I will skip the canabalism.Secondly, how do people with religiously or ethically based diets protect their food sources? Is a tomato kosher if it has shrimp genes in it? Is it halal for the Islamic community? (You know the halal designation only exists for meat. Until now, I guess) How about the pork genes in vegetables? No one will tell you which is which. So, where is the outcry by the clerics? If you don't have to pay attention to the shrimp and pork genes (an human genes- are humans kosher and halal?), why not just chow down on any animal flesh? Where is the distinction? If part of a tomato or a goat is human, the religious community has to answer some tough questions.How about that separation of church and state? Isn't the government making choices for people's religious practices by withholding this information? Has not the government decided that these religious or ethical tenets are unimportant?Personally, I already was a vegan. Made me into a vegan who eats only organic food. I want to know what I am eating. I think it is my right as an American.P.S. The interesting part was that as soon as we went organic, both my husband and I lost 25 pounds each, without any other change in our diets. Makes you wonder about the multi-billion dollar diet industry and the FDA and USDA hmmmP.P.S. The first patent for a geincetally engineering organism was a bacteria. You see no normal cell will allow the invasion of a foreign gene unless you destroy it with this bacteria.The scientist will tell you that this is just the centuries old process of grafting fruits and vegetables together speeded up a bit. I think not.
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