When we take out a student loan or make a purchase — whether it be a smart phone, a car, or food item — we expect to have accurate information about the product, including all the relevant details. If we don’t receive the key information in an understandable form before the purchase, we may be in for a rude awakening later.
The experience of many home buyers who lost their residences during the past decade due to shady practices, including incomplete or incomprehensible contract wording, is an extreme and tragic example of a rude awakening.
Laws have been created requiring more information to consumers in many areas, including food. For example, Congress enacted a food-labeling act in 1990 that provides important nutritional data on most packaged-food items in the grocery store.
Another food-related area of growing concern is the widespread adoption of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the U.S. food supply without adequate testing. Scientists from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration raised warnings, especially about the profound difference between the types of unexpected effects of traditional breeding and genetic engineering. The FDA scientists particularly stressed the need for toxicological tests before allowing GMOs on the market.
However, FDA officials overrode their own scientists’ concerns, as well as the concerns of many other scientists who failed to follow the law, and allowed GMOs to be considered as GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe). Given this presumption, GMOs didn’t require testing by the FDA.
Instead the federal agencies, FDA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, rely on the industry’s voluntary testing, according to Alliance for Bio-Integrity and Earth Open Source.
Given the U.S. industry’s record of misleading the public, perhaps we should be very cautious about accepting industry studies at face value. For example, many new studies have found problems with GMOs, according to the Earth Open Source article. Therefore consumers should at least be allowed to know whether or not they are purchasing GMO products.
Proposition 105 is on the statewide ballot this year and it calls for labeling of many GMO products. Opponents of this proposition are making several problematic claims about labeling, according to a 9News story, a process that is used successfully in 64 other nations around the world.
The Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center supports this proposition and I hope you will too.
Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s Peace Train runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily