For anyone who follows the news, it probably comes as no surprise that the world is fixated on the food we eat and the undisclosed products that may or not be in our breakfasts, lunches and dinners. While many companies are proclaiming the trends towards increased awareness and regulation as alarmist, it’s impossible not to recognize the potential for positive improvement in the realm of dietary awareness and healthy eating habits.
In the US, GMO products are found in almost all of the major food staples. Unless you shop at an organic food store, you’re bound to purchase an item that has been “engineered” on some level to thrive. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. GMO research has helped ensure that crops are more hardy and capable of withstanding fierce winters, droughts and other adverse climate conditions that may have previously resulted in famine and strife.
The question, however, that many GMO labelling advocates are asking is, “What are the long term effects of GMO consumption?” Are we poisoning ourselves in an effort to ensure that food is more plentiful and, consequently, more affordable?
Questions such as these inevitably lead to a push for increased awareness and labelling. Although no direct proof exists that GMO products are “bad” for you, those seeking to change current labelling laws in favour of anti-GMO activities argue that customers have the right to know what is in the items they are purchasing at the store to feed themselves and their loved ones.
While this request may seem to be relatively harmless, GMO manufacturers are throwing millions of dollars at campaigns designed to ensure that product labelling is not forced to include a “this is a GMO” tagline.
The simple fact is this: information is power. Just as we must know if allergens are present in the food we eat, it should be important to each of us exactly how the food we eat was created. Accountability and transparency should not be a discretionary measure. Food manufacturers, by the very nature of their profession, should be required to provide consumers with the knowledge they need to allow them to make their own decisions regarding the products they put into their bodies.