More calls for GMO food labels


A group of smaller food companies and health advocates deliver a letter to President Obama asking for tighter controls on labeling food that is genetically modified.

The scientific community is split on the health impact of eating GMO food.

An organization repping grocery stores (SVU, KR, SWY) opposes the measure as it could steer more traffic to organic sellers and justify their premium pricing.

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Comments (22)
  • Gary J
    , contributor
    Comments (11136) | Send Message
     
    Sure the Krogers are against it. They want you buying that genetically modified crap instead of going to Whole Foods.
    16 Jan 2014, 09:49 AM Reply Like
  • keen1
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
     
    Time will probably show a backlash and negative effect of certain GMO's. Monsanto is a powerful machine though, so their influence and presence in our food supply is not disappearing any time soon. Whole Foods still has GMO's on their shelves, don't be fooled.
    6 Feb 2014, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • Gary J
    , contributor
    Comments (11136) | Send Message
     
    "Whole Foods still has GMO's on their shelves, don't be fooled."

     

    I am not sure who said they did not but the point is soon they will all be labeled as such.
    6 Feb 2014, 03:48 PM Reply Like
  • jmjjmj1
    , contributor
    Comments (183) | Send Message
     
    right?, I also love the part " it could steer more traffic to organic sellers and justify their premium pricing." boo hoo then reconfigure the stores for what consumers demand instead of lobbying against what you want to shove down their throats.
    16 Jan 2014, 10:05 AM Reply Like
  • VinnieChase13
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    "The scientific community is split on the health impact of eating GMO food."

     

    The scientific community is most certainly not split on the health impact of eating GMO food. The scientific community is firmly behind the use of GMO's. There has never ever been anything harmful proven about GMO's. It's that kind of headline that leads to the continued witch hunt against GMO's.

     

    GMO's have as much, if not more, scientific backing than even climate change.
    16 Jan 2014, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • Jolly_Rancher
    , contributor
    Comments (629) | Send Message
     
    The issue is not whether GMOs are healthy or unhealthy. The issue is: "I want to know if my food is GMO" and I want to make my own decisions. Republicans extoll free markets except for the rational well-informed consumer part. Most economic theory is predicated on the idea of a rational perfectly informed consumer who maximizes his utility. Let's have full food disclosure, not only GMO, but also country of origin, and pesticides/chemicals used. If it is too difficult or expensive for the food supplier to determine country of origin or pesticides/chemicals used, then require large bold print on the package: "WE DON'T KNOW WHERE IT CAME FROM ; NOR DO WE KNOW WHAT'S IN IT."
    16 Jan 2014, 10:42 AM Reply Like
  • VinnieChase13
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    Organic companies what the labels to make themselves more cost competitive (disclaimer - I eat predominantly organic foods - especially meats). If there were any evidence whatsoever, even minor, that GMO's have any issue at all than they should be labeled, but since they don't it serves absolutely no purpose except to raise the cost of food and keep millions of poor children malnourished and vitamin A deficient, and give weight to the anti-GMO movement. The anti-GMO/anti-science campaign is the equivalency of a witch-hunt.
    16 Jan 2014, 10:52 AM Reply Like
  • Philip Marlowe
    , contributor
    Comments (1599) | Send Message
     
    Not true. There are many scientists that are calling for caution on GMOs. Saying no harm has been proven is a little misleading. Because experimenting with humans is very expensive and difficult, it is difficult to prove long term harm to humans. Usually many people have to die before the various statistical models show that a particular thing is actually harming people.

     

    But studies of insects and other animals that live with GMO plants are showing very concerning results. See, for example, this: http://bit.ly/1mbuD0k .
    16 Jan 2014, 11:48 AM Reply Like
  • VinnieChase13
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    1. "Many" scientist are not calling for caution on GMO's. The vast majority are not calling for caution at all. GMO's aren't something new that just happened to humans. They've been around an incredibly long time.

     

    2. Your link is crap. Zero reliable facts. Every study that has tried to come against GMO's has been proved to have been poorly administered.
    16 Jan 2014, 04:17 PM Reply Like
  • Gary J
    , contributor
    Comments (11136) | Send Message
     
    In other study news, send the kinds to the streets. It's probably OK to play in traffic!!
    16 Jan 2014, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • Jolly_Rancher
    , contributor
    Comments (629) | Send Message
     
    There doesn't have to be any cost at all related to the labeling. If a manufacturer doesn't want to spend money to find where his food came from or what went into production, he can place the label on the food stating to that effect: "UNKNOWN SOURCE AND PROCESS" or SAP. And only saps will buy it.
    17 Jan 2014, 10:05 AM Reply Like
  • Gary J
    , contributor
    Comments (11136) | Send Message
     
    Science is certainly split and the reason is simple - not enough time to tell the effects. Agent Orange was once thought OK for its intended purpose. Same for DDT. Eggs were once the perfect food, then bad for you, then good again, etc.

     

    So enjoy your GMO and let us know how that works out for you someday. I'll pass.
    16 Jan 2014, 11:31 AM Reply Like
  • financeminister
    , contributor
    Comments (1228) | Send Message
     
    If I'm not mistaken, DDT scare was shown to be overblown over the years.
    16 Jan 2014, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • Gary J
    , contributor
    Comments (11136) | Send Message
     
    Only if you consider a world wide ban overblown.
    16 Jan 2014, 03:39 PM Reply Like
  • Clay C
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
     
    I can't resist further contributing to the arguments of "science vs anti-science". I'm a geologist and statistician, and even in the field of geology, vastly more simple than the complexities of human biology, the lines between science and statistics are very, very blurred.

     

    A great example is taken from the Wikipedia entry for DDT:
    "In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control reported that "Overall, in spite of some positive associations for some cancers within certain subgroups of people, there is no clear evidence that exposure to DDT/DDE causes cancer in humans." The NTP classifies it as "reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen," the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies it as a "possible" human carcinogen, and the EPA classifies DDT, DDE, and DDD as class B2 "probable" carcinogens. "

     

    Here you have four different institutions with four different conclusions about the effects of DDT. It's inevitable that the scientific opinions on GMO's vary at least as much as those of DDT, because DDT is much narrower range of substances to study, that have been studied for much longer than GMO's. My opinion is that anyone making a broad statement about the "overall opinion of scientists on GMO's" is probably taking a great deal of liberty with his statement.
    16 Jan 2014, 07:22 PM Reply Like
  • Clay C
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
     
    Perceptions of "scares" and "overblown" will usually depend on what your information source is. I take facts closer to heart: According to Wikipedia, the use of DDT for agricultural purposes has been banned in the US for over 40 years, and worldwide since 2004.
    16 Jan 2014, 07:23 PM Reply Like
  • garyjohnson
    , contributor
    Comments (46) | Send Message
     
    In 45 years of combined veterinary and medical practice, I have never seen even one animal or human patient ill from GMO products nor has one every been reported in the medical or veterinary literature. GMO foods have been available since the mid 1950's and include nearly all the soybeans, corn, and canola oil grown today. And what do you think is fed to cattle, pork, chickens, and all animals? GMO raised food. So many of things you eat and have eaten for years and those of you born after the 1950's , all of your life, are products of GMO research.

     

    Every drug, surgical,or radiological procedure available to animals and humans has possible side effects and complications, but when used, the good and bad aspects of the treatment must be weighed against the possible benefit. I have only seen benefit and no complications from GMO foods.

     

    Finally, everyone must realize that organic foods are not necessarily safe, as outbreaks of disease from organic foods are common, especially zoonotic diseases. In fact, organic foods are much more dangerous than GMO raised crops and according to recent research in the medical literature, are no more nutritious.

     

    I would ask for a simple double blind study to prove that GMO products are unsafe. As of this date, there are none that are reproducible and adequately done. Dr. J.

     

    16 Jan 2014, 06:47 PM Reply Like
  • Clay C
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
     
    Diagnosis of invasive cancer in children increased 30% from 1975 to 2004. Autism rates have been climbing in the US. ADHD diagnoses have been increasing greatly (though many say this is amplified by over-diagnosis). There are many worrisome metrics about our decaying health as a species. Of course, there are so many more possible contributors than GMO's from modern life. Like Gary, I prefer to pay a little more and remove this as a popssible risk from my child's development.

     

    It's very difficult to prove things conclusively. Our economic system does not typically put sufficient money or time into "disproving" a profit motive, so these studies tend to not get done, or get done over too short of a time frame. For example, the study I link below yields some preliminary indications that, of course, don't prove anything conclusively. They recommend studying over a longer period of time (2 years instead of 6 months), which intuitively seems to better match the timescale for the symptoms that one might be concerned about.

     

    http://bit.ly/1boRaEp
    19 Jan 2014, 03:15 AM Reply Like
  • Clay C
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
     
    I agree with Gary. DDT salesmen used to spray it into their mouths to demonstrate how safe it is, and needless to say it was later demonstrated to be highly carcinogenic. Just because something hasn't been proven by science YET doesn't mean we have all the answers. Gamble with you children's health if you want, I'd rather have less XBoxes and less risky food.

     

    That being said, Whole Foods is ANYTHING but a perfect organic grocer. It's a helluva lot better than conventional grocers, but there's a good reason Whole Foods isn't mandating GMO labelling in their stores until 2018. Their was a great article floating around where someone asked advice from many WF store employees in many stores, and the amount of misinformation was a little shocking. The WF CEO has admitted that it's virtually impossible to phase GMOs out of all food, since their use has become so widespread. The best they can shoot for is labeling and then let the consumer decide.
    16 Jan 2014, 07:23 PM Reply Like
  • Gary J
    , contributor
    Comments (11136) | Send Message
     
    The fact remains the debate on possible ill affects of GMO rages on. In the meantime you can choose to minimize your intake of them or choose to ignore the advice to limit your intake pending more information. Gather your toys and play in the sand box or play in the street.

     

    Do you feel lucky today?
    17 Jan 2014, 08:27 AM Reply Like
  • AniseAnise
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    For more information on the impact of GMO's and how their potentially negative effect our health and environment watch this film free on YouTube titled Genetic Roulette. It is worthwhile regardless of what your current stance on the issue is.
    http://bit.ly/19EXtTT
    19 Jan 2014, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • Clay C
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
     
    That was a surprisingly good video, Anise, thank you. I thought it particularly important that they provided a good number of charts. I find that isolated anecdotes and opinions are commonly used to skew perceptions, whether it be Monsanto doing the skewing, or anti-GMO fanatics doing the skewing. This video provided a little more substance to allow the viewer to observe the numbers for themselves.

     

    One point where they didn't quantify to my satisfaction (or at all?) was the topic of nutrient deficiency in roundup-ready crops. I thought their lack of backup on this one topic was pretty poor and didn't allow me to draw any conclusions for myself.

     

    One quote I particularly enjoyed was "They've got bad science down to a science". I thought that to be a good way to capture today's culture of misinformation.

     

    It's a pity that the Spanish subtitles covered up most of the titles of the various speakers, because one really needs to know who the speakers are to properly know the context and implications.
    20 Jan 2014, 03:31 PM Reply Like
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