Label GMOs – What Will It Take?
Labeling GMOs shouldn’t be as big as deal as it is turning out to be, should it? I mean, labeling GMOs should be like labeling anything else – we label grams of fat and fiber, sodium content and sugar. So why are manufacturers so reluctant to label GMOs?
I’ve given it a lot of thought. I understand the business model for conventional food is to use inexpensive ingredients and sell massive quantities. I get it. So, if you’re using GMO products because they’re less expensive, why not label GMOs?
Did you know that 61 countries, including China already label GMOs? If they are so great, why not advertise them? Maybe its because Monsanto knows that by manufacturers refusing to label GMOs, they will be able to continue to make huge profits off of this untested technology.
The FDA takes a position on GMOs that they are unaware of any risks with GMOs and that they are “substantially equivalent” to their non-GMO counterparts. Many scientists have differed with this position including the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. We certainly differ with that position. Monsanto has been able to patent their seed and by nature a patent indicates that something is unique about the item. To say that a non-GMO seed is “substantially equivalent” to a GMO seed and still allow that GMO seed to be patented makes no sense.
At shopOrganic.com, we took a hard look at all of our products. Of course, organic products by definition are non-GMO. But for some of our non-food products that have natural ingredients, we looked at whether or not they were likely to be GMO. From there, we removed all products that had ingredients likely to be GMO – mostly ingredients derived from corn and soy. Finally, we contacted manufacturers – yup, we contacted every manufacturer of a product that had ingredients we could not verify one way or the other through labeling and we asked them. If they could verify their products were non-GMO, we kept them. If they could not, we removed them from our inventory. Many of these companies are good companies with great products, but we believe that each company needs to take full responsibility for the source and quality of their ingredients.
We believe that to label GMOs would be the beginning of the end of them and we wholeheartedly support their labeling. To honor that commitment, we also removed any brand from our product selection whose parent company donated money to defeat Prop 37 (the GMO labeling initiative in California).
So, at the end of the day, we do not sell products with GMOs. Period. We believe that’s the right thing to do, especially given increasing evidence regarding the health risks of GMOs. We don’t think GMO products are fit for human or animal consumption. So, at minimum, manufacturers should be willing to label GMOs used in their products. We believe in supporting companies that are doing the right thing, companies whose values align with our own.
What do you think?