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Denver debate heats up: Who has the right to know what is in our food?

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Local activists groups come together for a week of events to raise awareness about what is really hiding in our food.

Currently, food labels list and describe nearly every component of any food product, from the caloric values to the fat and protein content as well as possible contact with any of the known allergens. Why not label that the food could also contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?

Proponents of genetically modified (GM) crops make a range of far-reaching claims, fueled by questionable assertions from the GM crop industry. They claim that GM crops are an extension of natural breeding and pose the same risks as naturally bred crops. They further claim that GMOs are safe to eat and can be more nutritious than naturally bred crops, when in reality, they can be highly allergenic and/or less nutritious than their natural counterparts.

Contrary to what many believe, GM crops are not adequately regulated to ensure safety and actually do not reduce pesticide use but increase it. Conventional plant breeding, in some cases helped by safe, modern technologies like gene mapping and marker assisted selection, continues to outperform GMOs in producing high-yield, drought-tolerant, and pest- and disease-resistant crops that can meet our present and future food needs.

Right to Know Colorado GMO has launched a grassroots campaign demanding mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods or GMOs across the state. Organizers state the “movement is built on the foundation that we have the basic right to know what is in our food and what we are feeding our families. Right to Know Colorado believes that Colorado consumers should have a choice when it comes to the ingredients and the food they ingest.” The ballot initiative was approved by the Colorado Supreme Court in March, so now 86,105 notarized signatures are needed by August 4th, to force a November GMO label election. Petition signing has begun and volunteers are requested. Sign up to volunteer here: http://www.righttoknowcolorado.org/volunteer.

Local activist group, March Against Monsanto Denver just announced a screening of the acclaimed documentary, GMO OMG, today at the Mercury Café in Denver at 2pm. If you want to know more about what GMOs are and how they affect our food supply, this is the event for you. The Mercury Café is located at 2199 California St. Denver, Colorado 80205. This event is FREE.

Thursday, May 22, at The Oriental Theater, is the Colorado Label GMO Show presented by We Are Change Colorado, featuring Alais Clay, BURNTmd, DJ CAVEM, Gary Fielder, Rebel Tongue, The Soul Pros and Wandering Monks. Organizers plan the night to be an evening of conscious music blended with organic activism and poetry. The intention of the show is to have fun, while educating people about what they're eating. Doors will open at 7 pm and the music begins at 8 pm. To purchase tickets online, visit, http://www.theorientaltheater.com/event/171039.

Saturday, May 24, join March Against Monsanto Denver for the Bees & Butterflies Festival, starting at 10 in the morning. The festival promises a day full of fun and education. The event is planned for the City of Cuernavaca Park. This central location will allow space for music, GMO education, and fun for the kids, including a Butterfly Wing Making Craft Area and vending area to include healthy and environmentally friendly options and programs. This park offers space ample for playing with pets or having an afternoon picnic. City of Cuernavaca Park is conveniently located at 3304 Rockmont Dr., Denver, CO, 80202, just blocks from Denver Skate Park, Coors Field, REI and Commons Park West. This event is FREE and open to the public.

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