Friday, May 11, 2012

O Magazine Article Slants Pro-GMO Labeling

Washington--The May issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, contains a series of articles about biotechnology and genetically modified foods. The main article attempts to make a case for mandatory labeling of foods derived from biotechnology and comes as a petition for a “Right to Know” initiative in California is reported to have more than enough signatures to get the initiative on this November’s ballot.

The article poses the question, “What impact do GM foods have on our health?” and follows with “no one really knows.”

Actually, we do. After biotech crops go through the typical six to 12 years of testing before they go to market, we know a great deal about them, according to the Council for Biotechnology Information. The group says that food made from biotech crops has been determined to be as safe as non-biotech foods by no less than the Food and Drug Administration, American Dietetic Association, World Health Organization, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the National Academy of Sciences. In addition, more than 3,000 scientists worldwide have signed a declaration in support of agricultural biotechnology and its safety for humans, animals and the environment, according to AgBioWorld.

The American Farm Bureau Federation opposes mandatory labeling of biotech foods that aren’t significantly different from conventional foods, because the proposed labels would incorrectly imply that biotech food products are inferior or unsafe. Also, food makers most likely would pass on the increased cost of mandatory labeling to shoppers.

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