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Without knowing, consumers in Texas and across the country regularly consume food that contains genetically-engineered ingredients. There are many reasons why consumers might be concerned about genetically engineered foods, including the overuse of pesticides, an uncertainty about the public health impacts, and the lack of corporate transparency involved in food manufacturing.
The solution is the mandatory labeling of all genetically engineered foods, so Texans can make healthy, responsible, and informed choices. Monsanto, the big chemical companies, and processed food manufacturers are spending millions of dollars to oppose ballot initiatives across the country. They don’t want us to know if our food is genetically engineered.
This isn’t just an issue of food safety. It’s an issue of the consumer’s right to know the ingredients in their food, corporate transparency, and the role that money plays in the electoral process. This November in Washington, special interests spent over $22 million to defeat a ballot initiative that would require GMO labeling. These opponents argued that labeling was unnecessary because we have no proof that GMOs are hazardous for human consumption. While this is certainly true, there are also zero peer-reviewed scientific papers establishing the safety of GMO crops either. We simply don’t know the health impact of GMO foods.
What we do know is that the use of GMOs results in a number of harmful secondary effects, most notably to the environment, including an increased use of pesticides and a decrease in the bio-diversity of some of our most important crops. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations found that some 75 percent of plant genetic diversity has been lost as farmers turn to genetically uniform, mass-produced crop varieties.
As Texans, we believe that we have the right to make educated decisions about our health and what we put into our body. That’s why we’re calling on our senators and representatives in Washington DC to come out in support of GMO labeling, and co-sponsor S.809/H.R.1699, the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act.
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