Lately I’ve become more and more interested in the issues surrounding GMO labelling and a person’s right to know how their food is grown, processed and prepared.
After bouncing from tweet, to link, to link and to another link, I landed on “GMO Backlash Causes Cheerios Facebook Campaign Fail”, a post by Ann Marie Michaels on Cheeseslave.com. It discusses the overwhelming number of consumer complaints that appeared on Cheerios’ Facebook page following General Mills’ large financial contribution to the ad campaign which, it is believed, led to the defeat of Proposition 37 in California (which would have required the labelling of foods containing GMO ingredients).
While the post in and of itself is an inspiring example of “The people united will never be defeated” and worth a scan, it’s the comments section that I found most enlightening. Go ahead and check them out, particularly the comments by Ryan and Buellahgirl (Ctrl+f that sh*t).
From where I’m standing, they are right on the money. After reading Ryan’s detailed account of genetic modification techniques, I realized that it isn’t the concept of GMOs as a whole that frighten me, but specific techniques and the legal, political and economic frameworks surrounding them. Buellahgirl states: “The public outcry about the GMO issue is a symptom of what a large number of people feel is a legitimate concern about the direction that we are heading.” I wholeheartedly agree.
I’m with buellahgirl: “As a “civilian”, my concerns about the manipulation of our food supply are based, I think, more in the implementation of some of these techniques by profit driven entities that seemingly operate without thought or concern for the long-term well-being of consumers.” And there are plenty of issues that seem even more urgent than the long term effects of GMOs on humans such as the “excessive amounts of salt, sugar, food coloring, hormones and preservatives” as she writes.
What gives me, and I’m sure many others, the heebie-jeebies is the perceived intentions and motivations of the companies controlling much of our food supply. And moves like blocking a law that would provide further transparency to consumers certainly isn’t helping to improve their image. Hence this comment on General Mills’ Facebook page:
What about you? Do you ever worry about the long term effects of eating GMO ingredients? If so, is it strictly the science behind it that makes you uneasy, or how it’s being handled and by who?