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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Organic Consumers Association: We want GMO labeling

courtesy of the Organic Consumers Association

Tell Your Natural Food Store or Grocer: We Want GMOs & Factory Farm Products Labeled
Most people wouldn't eat genetically engineered foods if given the choice, but only a quarter of Americans are aware that GMOs are even allowed in the US food supply - and that's just the way the food industry wants it. As a Monsanto executive once admitted to a major newspaper, "If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it."

The Grocery Manufacturers Association is the trade association and lobbying group for America's GM and chemical-intensive food industry, representing the biggest players in genetically engineered seed, farm chemicals, animal feed, factory farms, food processing, grocery retail and fast food. GMA members include Monsanto, Mosaic, Cargill, ConAgra, Smithfield, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Unilever, Kraft, Hershey, Bimbo, Kellogg's, Campbell Soup, Kroger, Safeway, and McDonald's. GMA is a vocal advocate for what they call "agricultural biotechnology." The GMA boasts that 80% of all U.S. grocery store foods contain GM ingredients, yet they adamantly oppose mandatory labels for genetically engineered foods. This is outrageous.

The Organic Consumers Association is launching a Truth-in-Labeling campaign to get grocery stores to come clean about what's in our food.

We're starting with a national letter-writing campaign aimed at the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the largest food retailers, demanding mandatory labels on foods that likely contain GMOs, or that come from factory farm CAFOs. We'll be following this up with organizer trainings that will prepare OCA activists to take the cause to local grocery stores, increase community awareness about GMOs, and get state legislatures and city councils to pass GMO and CAFO labeling laws.

Take Action

What Would Be Labeled?

If non-organic produce had to be labeled as "May Contain GMOs" and factory farmed animal products had to be labeled as "CAFO," what would be the likely impact in the marketplace?

Any processed food that contains corn (75 million acres, or 85%, of U.S. corn production is GM); soy (72 million acres or 91% of U.S. soy is GM); cottonseed oil (8.8 million acres or 88% of U.S. cotton is GM); canola (3.2 million acres or 85% of U.S. Canola is GM); or sugar beets (1.2 million acres or 95% of U.S. sugar beets is GM); is overwhelmingly likely to contain Monsanto's engineered DNA, and therefore needs to have a label that says "May Contain GMOs."

Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, grass-fed animal products, and whole grains, while avoiding multi-ingredient packaged foods, fried foods, sodas, juice drinks and factory-farmed animal products, is another good way to avoid GMOs. But most people in the United States find it very hard to do this. This isn't entirely the fault of consumers. According to the National Cancer Institute, the US only produces and imports half of the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables required for our population.

Only a quarter of the US population is aware that they are being force-fed GMOs, and most say they wouldn't buy GM foods, but nearly everything sold at grocery stores contains GMOs. And none of it is labeled.

Support Truth-in-Labeling. For more information about avoiding GMOs, go to our Millions Against Monsanto page or sign this petition:

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