Truth in food labeling advocates in California have gathered enough signatures to get an initiative on the November to require food manufacturers to include information regarding genetically engineered food ingredients.
Large food manufacturers have been fighting attempts to require GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) labeling for years. Despite polls indicating public support for food labels identifying foods manufactured with genetically altered or engineered foods, large food manufacturers insist this type of food is safe and poses no danger to people who eat it. Large farming concerns contend that genetically altered foods create stronger, hardier crops that are resistant to pests and have higher yields.
However, many remain concerned about the long term effects of genetically engineered foods. With increasing rates of food allergies and concern about potential body toxins absorbed through food, many consumers want the choice to decide for themselves what foods they and their families eat.
For example, researchers now suggest that one of the reasons for increased levels of gluten sensitivity and colon health problems may be due to the large amounts of genetically altered wheat products consumed by most Americans. It is extremely difficult to find processed foods that do not contain wheat ingredients from wheat that is dramatically different genetically from wheat processed a century ago.
Although the proposed proposition has a great deal of public support, sponsors of the law expect a large corporate push to defeat it. If the law for GMO labeling is successful, California may prove to be the leading edge in changing in food labeling laws when it comes to genetically altered foods. Presently, the only state requiring any type of labeling for genetically altered foods is Alaska, which requires only labels for genetically altered fish and shellfish. In European nations, Japan and China, GMO labeling laws are already in place.
– The Alternative Daily