As a Justmeans staff writer for the Sustainable Foods editorial department, I explore the disparity between consumerism and independence through the topic of sustainability. As a self-described 'urban homesteader' I look to find the balance between a sustainable lifestyle and use of corporate convenience. I don't necessarily want to live without electricity, but I want to be comfortable if eve...
Millions Against Monsanto March, Washington DC March 26
Consumers deserve a choice of whether or not to purchase genetically modified foods. Monsanto says that we have that choice: simply buy organic.
But what about that sector of people who are truly ignorant of GMO technology in their food? The disconnect between where food comes from or how it is produces is so enormous in the United States that it is not a sizable jump to recognize: many people don't even know the problem exists, so why should they be swindled into consuming products that they don't realize contains technology that may or may not harm them.
The fact is, many GMOs are presumed to be safe, but we know presumptions can go deathly awry once the inevitable unknown factors arise. Because GMOs are often bred using genes that cross species, the current side effects of GMOs are typically allergic reactions to things by which one is normally not allergic.
In reality, we don't have any idea what the effects of GMOs will be in our bodies for another 15 to 20 years. Maybe it's all fine; but why should we be allow corporations to test on an unknowing and unwilling audience?
This coming Saturday, March 26, at the Capitol Building in Washington DC, a rally called The Right To Know will be held. Many more rallies are scheduled to occur simultaneously around the country, so if DC is not in your area, please consider one of the others or march on your own capitol, city hall or town hall building. Invite your friends and neighbors.
The rally, as many see it, is more to make aware that which is often hidden: genetically nodified foods exist in almost every box of processed food on the supermarket shelves as well as in some of the produce aisles.
But as it has been noted, even in produce GMOs are only labeled if the individual farm chooses to do so with a number 8 leader digit in front of the PLU Code. I have never seen a leading 8 PLU code; leading 9s on PLU codes indicate organic, so that means that anything other than a PLU code that starts with a 9 may or may not be GMO food. That's ridiculous.
Monsanto shirks its responsibility to the consumer and it's not fair. We have a right to know what we put in our bodies. Not everyone has access to CSA shares and Farmer's Markets and those people, especially those people, should not be used as unsuspecting test subjects in a game that is all about profit for big companies.
If you have opportunity to march on your town, city, county, state or national capitol, please do. And contact your representatives: demand that labeling be made mandatory for all genetically modified foods being sold to the public.