Had California Proposition 37 passed last November, California would have joined over 61 countries containing over 40% of the world's population that require significant restrictions or outright bans of genetically modified foods. What are genetically modified foods? According to the National Institute of Health website, Medline Plus, "Genetically engineered foods have had foreign genes (genes from other plants or animals) inserted into their genetic codes."
According to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, health risks associated with the consumption of genetically modified foods include "... infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system."
Natural News reports, "Animals consuming crops that have been genetically modified to produce the pesticide Bt (approved for human consumption in the United States) have died by the thousands, while animals grazing on a non-GM version of the same crops remained unharmed. Upon autopsies, researchers have found black patches in the animals' livers and intestines, internal bleeding and other signs of Bt poisoning. Farm workers in India have begun developing allergic reactions upon handling Bt corn, similar to the effects experienced by people exposed to Bt spraying."
Evidence such as this along with other GMO introductions into the human food chain seem reason enough to indicate that humans who consume these foods and their by-products have a a reasonable "need to know" concern.
Proposition 37 failed last November in California, largely due to a reported $44 million spent by food and chemical corporation giants such as Monsanto, Pepsi, DuPont, Dow, Bayer, Nestle, Coca-Cola and Conagra in ads against the measure. Therefore the news that grocery chains such as Hillers and Whole Foods are, or are planning to label foods without genetic modification, is all the more welcome to those who desire to know what they're eating.
The Obama campaign promised in 2007 to label genetically modified foods but has yet to make good on this promise.