October is NON-GMO Month. As more people become aware of the genetically-altered organisms in the foods they eat, the more concerned they become. We are speaking about altering the basic DNA of crops such as wheat, soy beans, corn, rice, sugar, salmon and fruits. These foods have already been modified with disastrous results on human health.
GMO foods are as unnatural as a food can be. For those practicing natural or holistic health, GMO foods are an abomination.
Dear Mrs. Stanley:
Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts regarding S.809, the 'Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act.' Your taking time to write me is appreciated.
S. 809 was introduced in the Senate on April 24, 2013, by Senator Barbara Boxer, and it was subsequently referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. As written, this bill would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Federal Meat Inspection Act, and the Poultry Products Inspection Act to require that food that contains a genetically engineered material or that is produced with a genetically engineered material, be labeled accordingly.
The process of genetically modifying plants is a process that has been practiced for hundreds of years through selective breeding. In the last twenty years, scientists have been able to identify specific traits that can improve taste, health, or provide insect and drought resistance to multiple types of crops.
This new technology is already changing agriculture by helping farmers grow more food on the same amount of land while preserving the environment through reducing the use of insecticides and pesticides. While agricultural biotechnology is relatively new, these products are subject to a level of regulation greater than conventional crops.
Before biotech crops ever reach a farmer's field or a family's dinner table, they undergo years of rigorous testing to ensure that they are safe for people, animals, and the environment. In fact, biotech varieties in North America are subject to greater levels of regulation and tested more thoroughly than conventional crops. Furthermore, our food supply continues to be one of the safest and highest quality food supplies in the world with agricultural biotechnology regulated by three Federal agencies. The Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) each work to ensure biotech crops are safe for human consumption and the environment.
Since biotech crops are safe to eat and no studies or test results have said otherwise, I believe mandatory labeling is not appropriate and would only increase the cost of food to the consumer. However, I do support voluntary labeling of non-biotech products like organics that seek out niche markets and value added opportunities for farmers and ranchers.
Whether produced domestically or imported, Americans must be able to trust that the food sold in their grocery stores and restaurants is safe. I believe it is vital to ensure that the USDA, the EPA and the FDA have the tools to properly regulate genetically engineered crops. I am confident government scientists will thoroughly evaluate biotech crops and ensure any variety submitted for deregulation is safe.
Currently, no action has been taken on this bill; however, should S. 809 reach the Senate floor for debate, I will keep your views in mind.
These are the actual facts concerning genetically altered foods from the Center for Food Safety:
By removing the genetic material from one organism and inserting it into the permanent genetic code of another, the biotech industry has created an astounding number of organisms that are not produced by nature and have never been seen on the plate. These include potatoes with bacteria genes, “super” pigs with human growth genes, fish with cattle growth genes, tomatoes with flounder genes, corn with bacteria genes, and thousands of other altered and engineered plants, animals and insects. At an alarming rate, these creations are now being patented and released into our environment and our food supply.
A number of studies over the past decade have revealed that genetically engineered foods can pose serious risks to farmers, human health, domesticated animals, wildlife and the environment.
'FDA has not found it necessary to conduct comprehensive scientific reviews of foods derived from bioengineered plants [but instead] expects developers to consult with the agency on safety and regulatory questions.'
Herbicide tolerant varieties make up about 70% of the genetically engineered crop acreage in the United States. Yet, the U.S. government agency charged with environmental protection does not evaluate the environmental risks of these varieties. The EPA’s role in regulating these crops, such as Monsanto’s Roundup Ready brand soybeans, is limited to approving herbicide for use on the new crop.
In addition to allowing higher residue levels of Monsanto’s Roundup brand herbicide on foods, the EPA has approved the use of bromoxynal on cotton, despite a cancer risk calculated at nearly twice the legal standard. The EPA does regulate the other main variety of biotech crop grown widely in the U.S., the so-called 'Bt plant pesticides.' However, the agency’s 1995 proposed policy showed that the EPA intended from the outset to exempt the majority of Bt plants from insecticide or food regulation.
USDA biotech oversight is even less stringent than the FDA’s. As noted by The New York Times, and acknowledged by the agency, the USDA has not denied a single one of over 5,000 applications for genetically engineered crop field trials submitted by industry. The USDA claims that its review process, “evaluates agricultural and environmental safety issues,” but scientists outside the agency have pointed out that the agency virtually abandoned its permit process in the mid-1990′s, in favor of mere notifications that do not require any risk assessment or specific environmental review. In this system, 'Ninety-nine percent of all field trials can be undertaken without [USDA] review. Developers need send only a brief notice to USDA along with a promise to conduct the tests safely.'
There have been multiple studies showing the harm of consuming genetically altered organisms. According to Seattle Organic Restaurants, "Why should you be concerned that cows eating GMO foods died and/or got contaminated with a mysterious disease? Because, if you eat meat or chicken that is contaminated as a result of a GMO with re-engineered DNA that is contaminated with a pathogen, then the DNA genes contaminate your cells and are also harmful to you. These DNA genes can be INSERTED into your own genes."
Roundup Ready Soy was given to mother rats as food during a study and it was discovered that 53% of the babies born died within a couple of weeks, about 10 times worse than normal. The biochemical form and structure of rats are very similar to human which is why they are used so often for studies to protect humans against various diseases. So the study should be of a major concern to FDA and other authorities that are concerned with health.
Where Chambliss got the information he used to base his answer upon is a wonder. It is doubtful he did any independent research on the issue. Georgia citizens must put pressure on Senator Chambliss to help him change his vote. Obviously, the only testing done that the FDA, EPA and USDA considered before allowing this atrocity were the tests done by the manufacturers and corporations themselves. It is well-known that Monsanto and big corporations regularly donate millions of dollars to help re-elect politicians who favor their views, including at least one $5,000 donation to Chambliss by Monsanto Co.
The bottom line for Georgia citizens is that Chambliss does not believe the public has a right to know what has been done to the food they eat.