BY DONNA WESTFALL
Advocates for legislation say that GMO (genetically modified organisms) corn and soy products have resulted in liver, kidney and bone marrow damage. Opponents argue labeling will increase food costs and hurt the livelihood of farmers.
Did you know that GMO’s foodstuffs have been around commercially since 1996?
I recall being at a local Del Norte County Tea Party meeting in 2012 centered on debating the merits of GMO labeling. At that time,Prop 37 was on the chopping block since the majority’s perception in the room was: lawsuits will result in higher food costs.
How is it that health was not the issue? Would you rather spend money eating organic now or paying for cancer treatments or kidney dialysis later? Doesn’t it really come down to that?
Cudos to Gov. Dannel Malloy, State of Connecticut, who signed legislation yesterday, December 16th, requiring GMO labeling. But here’s the rub: Connecticut’s law goes into effect after four adjacent states enact similar legislation.
A combination of northeastern states with a combined population of at least 20 million is required. Just so you don’t have to look up a map; Connecticut is bordered by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey and they must adopt similar laws.
According to The Team at GMO Free Ct., the amended version of the bill is without the exemption for farmers grossing less than 1.5 million dollars, which undermined the entire intent of the bill. However, there is a more reasonable trigger clause included. The bill will go into effect when “Four states, not including this state, (Ct) enact a mandatory labeling law for genetically-engineered foods that is consistent with the provisions of this subsection, provided one such state borders Connecticut; and (2) the aggregate population of such states located in the northeast region of the United States that have enacted a mandatory labeling law for genetically-engineered foods that is consistent with this subsection exceed twenty million based on 2010 census figures.” While we believe we have a right to know what is in our food today, we are satisfied that the language of the GMO labeling bill will give CT consumers transparency in labeling that will allow them to make informed decisions once the law is triggered.
Seems like it would be a lot easier to have our Federal government make GMO labeling mandatory. Although that sounds easy remember with all the lobbyists hawking Monsanto and Dow, it’s not going to happen. So, again, each individual State will have to enact their own legislation.
Some good news in other areas: Hawaii’s “Big Island” City Council bans GMO’s in 6-3 vote Bill# 113, (1 exception – papayas.) I wonder how successful it would be to try growing papayas in Crescent City in a greenhouse?
The tide is turning thanks to citizens getting engaged and demanding change. Keep that in mind the next time someone comes knocking on your door asking if you want to sign something that could stop water rates or sewer rates from increasing.
2 thoughts on “GMO LABELING: STARTING TO HAPPEN”
Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Representatives actually concerned with the health and well being of their constituents. Our history with this group of Supervisors, minus Gitlan, says nutrician and health concerns are not a priority.There were many citizens concerned that expanding Wal Mart would cause 1-2 grocery stores to close. We begged the Supervisors to deny the expansion in favor of saving Ray’s and Shop Smarts organic offering. They declined, not believing the impact committee from Emeryville that DNC could only sustain 1 large or 2-3 small stores. And the committee’s prediction of urban decay was not a concern. Especially with the beutification of Wal Mart and the cramped, over crowded, mold infested low income housing behind Wal Mart. $12,0000 was spent on a study for a succesful business in Del Norte County. The result was a Carl’s Jr.
The City Council just past a “health in all policies” resolution, ordinance, propoganda? They will have public works make side walks so people will go outside. That’s healthy. They didn’t say anything about the spraying of Round-up on the children’s school grounds. What did they use to keep the ground clear behind walMart.
See the environmental impact for the low income apartments Jim Barnst and others acquired. He states there are no animals or plants in the area because it has been kept bare for years. So there is no environmental impact.
And my favorite act by the supervisors is the continued disreguard for the Covenant to protect the health of people and environment by restricting land use at the air port where 1500 55 gallon pesticide and herbicide containers were found in different states of decomposition. The 2002 Covenant had been altered to include only one of the two parcels that were included in the land use restrictions.
Martha McClure was responsible for having that Covenant recorded. By 2007 it came to the attention of Kevin Meyer, EPA in charge of enforcement of land use restrictions at the Pesticide Site. The original, correct version of the Covenant was given To Finnigan to record. I noticed that Sulivan did not mention the Covenant to Oregon’s Department of Transportation when they filed the required paper work. He was suppose to answer questions 15-18. The documents for the public review had no question 18 available and the other answers were vague. Net flix offers a documentary called Sempre Fi about a toxic dump on a Marine base that was covered up for years as the residence con’t to get chronic conditions and cancers from the side effects of the toxins. I don’t know how we could begin to hope for the leaders to be aware of the GMO health threats when they totally ignore known lethal chemicals that are right under their feet. Perhaps it is time to elect people who are aware and educated about the physical needs of the earth and it’s inhabitants.
In November of 2004, our neighbors to the South (Arcata City Council) unanimously banned propagation, cultivation, raising, and growing of genetically engineered crops within the city limits; deeming it to be a public nuisance. It would be nice if our County Board of Supervisors would take an interest in protecting our community from the health hazards of GMO products and crops in a similar manner.