Washington is the latest state to take up the mantle of mandatory GMO labeling.
According to an article in USA Today, Initiative 522 will go before voters Nov. 5. “We believe that we have a right to know what’s in our food,” said Elizabeth Larter, the Seattle-based communications director for the Yes on 522 campaign. “This campaign is not about whether genetically modified organisms are good or bad; this is really just providing more information for consumers.”
There’s little doubt that GMO-labeling is closely associated with organic agriculture, if not its brainchild. The organic industry has never been satisfied with being a niche market for the preppies and purists. You can’t blame any industry for wanted to grow, but these guys want the whole ball of wax. They want to run commercial agriculture out of business and bring back 19th century farming.
Their quest is simple.
They’ve worked long and hard to promote their products by spreading misinformation about commercial agriculture, an industry that relies heavily on GMOs. Their misinformation ranges from claims that GMO crops are unsafe to eat to assertions that commercial agriculture is not “sustainable.”
They also know full well that if GMO foods were labeled that many Americans might construe the label as a warning, rather than informative wording. America’s kneejerk reaction would be reluctance to purchase GMO items, which happened in Europe by the way, resulting in grocery stores eventually removing foods containing GMOs from the shelves, even though science has proven over and over that there is nothing wrong with them. Nothing.
In fact, GMOs are a key component of agricultural sustainability. Because of high yields attained with GMOs, food can be produced with less fuel and water per bushel. Biotechnology companies are working on new traits that will bump yields to levels we could not have imagined 15 years ago.
Make no mistake. The real reason the organic movement is anti-GMO has nothing to do with science or activism or wanting to do what’s right. It’s business. They want to capitalize on manufactured fears about GMOs in hopes of forcing them off the shelves of American grocery stores, and thereby placing commercial operators at a competitive disadvantage by impeding their ability to raise crops efficiently.
They should be careful what they wish for. Without GMOs, production costs for commodities would skyrocket, pesticide applications would increase and yields would fall. Our export competitors would be absolutely delighted.
It’s time for these GMO labeling supporters to return to their daily pontifications on what Lady Gaga eats for breakfast and leave the very serious job of producing commodities to the American farmer.