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Battle over GMO labeling comes to Ohio

What has been injected into your foods?

Yesterday, March 8, 2014, the battle over Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) labeling came to Ohio as protesters stood outside of the Kettering, OH Kroger store. Controversy over GMO products has been growing in momentum one year after Whole Foods’ announcement that they will adopt labeling for all their products in their stores by the year 2018. Consumer groups launched a national campaign for supermarkets to label GMO products. State Public Interest Groups (PIRGs) held events, such as the one led by the Ohio PIRG in Kettering, across the country in 16 states on March 7th and 8th.
Many of the foods that are available on shelves today contain GMO ingredients. The Ohio PIRG says 70 to 80 percent of the foods we eat have GMO ingredients. "All of the research and all of the studies on GMO's have been short term on animals or funded by the industry and we just don't know," said Bryan Stewart, Program Associate of Ohio Public Interest Research Group. The growing controversy over Genetically Modified Organisms involves consumers, biotechnology companies, governmental regulators, non-governmental organizations, and scientists. The key areas of the dispute regarding GMOs are whether GM food should be labeled, the role of government regulators, the effect of GM crops on health and the environment, the effect on pesticide resistance, the impact of GM crops for farmers, and the role of GM crops in feeding the world population.
"We feel it's the consumers right to know what they're eating so they can make informed choices about what they're putting on their plates,” continues Bryan Stewart. “We're not here to say that they are bad, we're here to let you know you should have a right to know what you're buying,"
Advocacy groups such as Greenpeace and The Non-GMO Project state that the risks of GMOs in food have not been adequately identified and managed, and have questioned the objectivity of regulatory authorities. Even though polls show that the majority of American consumers want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs, the United States is still currently one of the few countries that do not require the labeling of GMO foods. The Non-GMO Project was created to give consumers the ability to make informed choices. The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization who has made its mission to offer North America’s only third party verification for products produced according to rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance. The Non-GMO Project has begun labeling certain foods that contain no more than 0.9 percent GMOs. For more information and a listing of such foods visit their website.

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