Novelist, Casper Parks - Feeling the Pulse of Society.

GMO Foods

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GMO Foods
Genetically Modified Organisms

When hearing, reading and watching GMOs in the news it generally refers to meats and plant based foods. Altering food is for a variety of reasons: The ability to withstand droughts, resistance to pests, nicer appearance, faster growth and bulk, and battle famine in third world countries.

There are many arguments in favor and against GMOs.

GMOs have been around for years, are here to stay and will continue expanding into the market; hence, the debate is an individual’s right to know what they are eating.

What are the odds of a family sitting at the dinner table and discussing GMOs? Such discussion at the dinner table could kill appetites.

Eating habits had dramatic changes in recent decades. Rarely do people sit around the kitchen table as a group. Processed, pre-made and pre-packaged foods remain in demand.

Pop a pre-prepared and pre-packed dinner the oven, microwave it, eat it cold, or a quick sandwich. People tend to eat on the go, or grab something to eat and sit in front of a variety of screens such as smart phones, televisions, tablets, computers, e-readers and more.

GMO foods are “big business” with billions of dollars in profits.

For example, farmers buying GMO corn seed must sign an agreement they will not save a portion of their crops to reseed fields for next season. They must buy seeds for additional GMO corn crops from the corporation owing the GMO Patent.

Greater crop yields equal more profit, unless the market becomes flooded with certain crops – then prices drop. Upside of an overstocked market more food is available, perhaps for Third World Countries where people live in droughts.

Do people have a right to know if the salmon they are buying is a GMO? Example, salmon modified with eel DNA that made it grow faster and larger. Is it a salmon or eel, or Sal-eel?

In the EU, GMO food labeling has been an issue as well.

In 2015 and 2016, US legislation regarding GMO labeling on food packaging has bounced around at State and Federal levels. Corporations and businesses having a finical stake are pouring money into lobbying and campaign contributions to halt forced GMO labeling.

Corporations with GMO investments demand input while legislators draft laws regarding food labeling. “Voluntary” continues to appear in legislation.

A number of States have GMO labeling laws that go into effect in 2016. There is a battle playing out at the Federal level that could nullify State laws regarding food labeling.

Since the start of 2016, a number of politicians have mentioned negotiating toward final legislation. At the time of this posting, additional amendments are unavailable for public viewing.

In case politicians at the federal level fail to pass legislation prior to State laws taking effect, a number of corporations are preparing for new labeling laws. The size of a label for GMO on packaging is small and difficult to locate.

Ultimately, those demanding GMO labeling would like a standardized label on the front of packaging. Perhaps, a small quarter inch circle red or black depending on packing color with bold white letters “GMO”, and modifications within ingredient listings.

Per polling as reported by ABC News in June 2015, “ninety-three percent of people want GMO foods labeled”.

At this point in regards to GMO foods, it is a matter does the public have a right to know what they are buying to eat. A number of companies are “voluntary” starting to label GMO foods. Public pressure is growing, and several corporations are now starting to label their GMO products.

Are GMO foods safe? Scientists are studying safety of GMO foods. Any study must consider the source. Who paid for the study, was the corporation holding patents on GMOs? This is not to say their studies are valid or not. Simply a question: Who paid for the study?

Are GMO foods safe? That is another discussion. The question for this posting, does the public have a right to know what they are buying to eat? If so, what type of labeling should be required?