We have a right to know what is in our food

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, June 26, 2013

To the Editor:

Do we have a right to know what is in the food we consume, feed our children with and rely upon for our health? Not according to our two senators we don’t, as was recently demonstrated when they voted against a measure that would allow states to force producers of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) to label their products as such.

There is a great deal of data available to indicate that GMOs may not be safe for human consumption, much less be exposed to their brand of pesticides for workers and some of these are not even called food, but insecticides as defined by the FDA, such as, Roundup Ready seeds we find ever increasing in our corn, soy and cotton. Europe, along with a total of 30 countries has banned their import and studies done in Europe tend to lean towards GMOs being unsafe for people like you, me and more importantly, children. However, that wasn’t quite enough evidence to convince our representatives to require these products carry labels so we, the people, who placed them in such positions, could make informed choices about what we put in our bodies.

While it would take more space than I have here to go into the details of how viruses are used to alter the DNA of food and how they have unintended consequences on it’s interaction with various proteins, I’ll suffice it to say I would feel much better if these products were labeled at the very least and better yet, banned altogether. However, with all the contributions made by corporations like Monsanto to both parties, that isn’t likely to happen without citizens demanding to know what they are ingesting. Since congress spends the majority of it’s time fund raising for the next election, it’s unlikely they are even aware of the possible dangers posed by these products, much less, make informed votes about labeling such and that is where we come into the process.

If unfamiliar with contacting your representatives, a good online site is: www.congress.org. They list all contact information and keep you informed on how congress votes on everything. While I’m sure I don’t need to explain how the multinationals have such undue influence in congress, to the extent that a lobbyist for corporations are often the ones who write the laws passed, all we have are our numbers and overwhelming they can be if we use this power. It is our country after all, or it used to be.

William Johnson
Franklin, Va.