Thanks to pressure from European countries on food providers to stop using GMOs, corporations like Kellogg, Heinz, Kraft, Coke and Pepsi are now ceasing sales GMO products– at least in certain territories in Europe. Even agricultural giant Monsanto has pulled its bid to have new GMO crops approved in Europe.
However, these companies continue to operate as normal in United States. Their marketing efforts to pass off GMO food as the same as regular food are still succeeding, due in large part to the high power lobbyists that manipulate the American political system at the top.
This power is not going unchecked, though. Many consumers are now demanding United States follow the way of Europe and how it treats GMOs. In some places legislation is even being passed to give consumers the right to know what’s in their food.
Grassroots Progress Building Momentum
Even though the United States as a whole isn’t waking up to the dangers of GMOs, individual cities and regions are taking steps to fight back against big agriculture. Recently, Connecticut became the first state to pass a law requiring GMOs to be labeled. Soon, Connecticut shoppers can know whether or not the food on their shelves contains GMOs, allowing consumers the freedom to choose whether or not they want to risk their health with genetically modified produce. This also makes it harder for companies to hide the fact that they use genetically modified foods in their products.
Shortly after Connecticut passed its law, Maine passed a similar law. Unfortunately, political lobbying has made these laws ineffective — at least until other states joining them pass similar legislation. However, the fact that these laws came so far is proof U.S. consumers are waking up and wanting to know what’s in their food.
Now, Massachusetts voters are trying to have a similar measure passed. The Boston city Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution to ban foods containing genetically modified ingredients until they have been more scientifically scrutinized and labeled for consumers. Even though some states have already rejected GMO laws (like California), it’s clear anti-GMO consumer interest is growing.
Consumers Should Have the Right to Know What’s in Their Food
While labelling seems like progress, some claim GMO labels are a scare tactic to push consumers away from genetically modified food. However, this argument is a fallacy. Consumers have the right to consume whatever they want, but they should also have the right to know what they’re consuming. If someone wants their diet to be full of unhealthy chemicals, dangerous fats and deadly ingredients, they have that right. (In fact, many people do make this choice – that’s why obesity is an epidemic in United States.)
It isn’t right that big companies can effectively lie to consumers and given the impression their food is all natural and healthy when in fact it has been genetically modified. Fortunately, more and more people – and countries – are getting on board with this idea and demanding the situation be changed, one state at a time.
The U.S. Needs to Catch Up
With more and more European companies banning GMOs, one could conclude that developed countries are getting wise to the dangers of genetically modified crops. However, United States is still far behind it’s treatment of GMO foods.
The fact that cynical corporations can still deceive U.S. consumers into buying GMO food without consumer knowledge shows how far we have to go. It’s through grassroots efforts and growing the anti-GMO momentum in the U.S. and Canada that pro-consumer, anti-GMO legislation can finally be passed. Then, companies will no longer be able to market inferior, dangerous GMO products to U.S. consumers that won’t sell in Europe.