Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

25 Oct 2014

Reason to label GMOs: politicization and lack of long-term human health studies

Posted by Adam Howell


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At the polls this November, I will be among the many registered voters who agree that when you shop at the grocery store, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and most of the products produced with GMOs should be labeled.

rtk_co_logoI’m proud to live in Colorado knowing that most people around me care about their health. One example is our people have the lowest rate of obesity of any other state in the U.S., according to the United Health Foundation.

Caring about your health means knowing what’s in the food that you are buying at the grocery stores–especially if they contain GMOs.

Genetic modification is the artificial mutation, insertion or deletion of genes in an organism to meet desirable traits not otherwise found in nature, using equipment that most people have never heard of.

While I’m no scientist, what I understand is that genetic engineering is done in a laboratory, which is different from the cross breeding of subspecies into hybrid plants (some apple trees).

The life forms that biotech industries create are often patented so that the foods that are grown cannot produce seeds for farmers to use for planting crops with in the future.

As patented inventions, biotech companies like Monsanto, Dow and Syngenta keep farmers reliant on their seeds, but also control who, when and how they get studied.

Further, independent research is not required by our government before the GMOs are released onto the market.

Very little, if any, independent long-term research has been done on the effects of GMOs on humans. Many scientists that have done research on GMOs finding potential harm that could occur to its consumers are threatened by lawsuits, aggressive stalkers, and discredited with rhetoric in the media.

The politicizing of scientific research around genetically modified organisms by biotech companies is one of the many reasons I will be voting for Proposition 105 to label–not ban–GMOs this November.

If the people in 64 countries around the world continue to reap the social, environmental and economic values of knowing which of their foods have GMOs in them, the people of Colorado would benefit, as well.

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