While GMOs are always a topic of interest around the co-op, the whole country is organizing either for or against GMO labeling this election season.With October being Non-GMO Month, California’s Proposition 37 on the ballot, and fourteen other states working towards mandatory GMO labeling, the time is ripe for making changes to our food system.
Research continues to show that 92% of Americans want the FDA to require mandatory labeling for GMOs. Just as consumers need to know the ingredients in their food, the nutritional facts and the allergens present, they have a right to know if genetically modified ingredients were used.
Mississippi Market has long been a supporter of federal laws requiring GMO testing and labeling. Member-owners supported campaigns against GMO salmon, GMO alfalfa and cloned animals in our food supply. Along with food co-ops across the country, Mississippi Market collected signatures for Just Label It, helping them reach over a million signatures in favor of GMO labeling.
One step towards achieving national GMO labeling laws is passing state-level labeling laws. Ultimately, statewide labeling for GMOs is not the solution, but statewide support could spur the federal government into action on this important issue.
While California’s Proposition 37 is the most well-known initiative and will be on their ballot in November, nineteen other states pursued similar labeling laws last year, including Minnesota. Minnesota’s campaign for GMO labeling, Right to Know Minnesota, is encouraging those in favor of labeling to contact their state legislators and candidates now, in preparation for the January legislative session where a GMO labeling bill will again be brought forth by Rep. Karen Clark.
Until any GMO labeling laws are in place, we can still avoid many GMOs in our foods by buying certified organic or Non-GMO Project verified foods and using the Non-GMO Shopping Guide. Without mandatory labeling, though, it is impossible to avoid all GMOs and difficult to know exactly what we are eating. Perhaps by the end of this election season, we will have a solution within our sights.