I get emails from a group called Food Democracy Now.
Today, I got this email:
“In the next 48 hours your Senators and Congressperson needs to hear from you immediately. By Wednesday COB, a bicameral letter will be sent to the FDA calling for GMO labeling and we need as many members of Congress to sign this letter as possible.
Today, an estimated 75 to 80% of processed food in the U.S. contains GMOs (genetically modified organism) and because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared GMOs “substantially equivalent” to foods produced with traditionally bred plants and animals, Americans have no idea that everyday they eat foods that contain genetically altered genes that have been engineered in a laboratory. “
If you’re asking:
WHY DOES IT MATTER? Well, it matters because GMO foods are not natural foods. For example, if you eat corn that has been genetically modified, it might now contain the gene that allows it to be sprayed with Roundup (weed and plant killer). Because it has the new gene, it can be sprayed with Roundup and not die. It’s beneficial to the farmers because they can spray their whole field with Roundup, kill all the weeds, but not kill all the corn. But, then, guess what. You are eating corn with Roundup on it and in it. The ground has Roundup all over it. The animals that eat the corn are eating Roundup, so your steak will have Roundup residue in it. The ground water gets Roundup in it.
WHY ELSE DOES IT MATTER? It also matters because huge companies have patents on these seeds, i.e. Monsanto. They own the seeds. If you buy and grown their seeds, save them and plant them next year, you can be sued, because you didn’t purchase the seed for the new crop. If you grow their seeds without buying the seeds from them, it is illegal and you can be sued. If the wind blows from a Monsanto GMO corn farm onto a neighboring organic corn farm and the corns cross-pollinate (meaning the GMO corn pollen mixes with the organic non-GMO corn pollen), and the organic farmer saves seeds for next year, and plants them next year, the organic farmer can be sued for growing GMO Monsanto seed that the farmer did not purchase…all because the wind blew in the organic farmer’s direction. Watch the movie Food, Inc, to see accounts of this happening.
Many food buyers (me included…can you tell?) would not knowingly buy foods that are GMO foods. But as it stands now, we have no way of knowing. Foods are not required to be labeled that they contain GMO foods. Some companies voluntarily label, but most companies, and they are usually the big companies…don’t.
So, anyway, I called. First time in my life I’ve spoken with anyone in Washington D.C. I was a little nervous. But, it was easy. I left a message with each one that I was calling to ask Doug/Mark/Michael to sign the letter to the FDA in support of GMO labeling on all foods. Here is how my experience went:
Representative Doug Lamborn, 202-225-4422: Spoke to a friendly intern who took my message and said it would be passed on to an agricultural legislative assistant who will then advise Doug Lamborn. I asked how this process works and would I get a response, and the intern initially said no, probably not, but then decided to take my phone number just in case.
Senator Mark Udall, 202-224-5941: Got a voice mail with him speaking on it, thanking me for calling and to press 2 to leave them a message or 1 to speak directly with one of his staff. I pressed 2. After pressing 2, Mark Udall spoke again, saying to leave my message and if I wanted a response, to leave my mailing address or email. I left a message and asked for an email response.
Senator Michael Bennet, 202-224-5852: Spoke with a friendly paid staffer whose job is “to answer phone calls.” She first asked for my zip code. She then took my message and said she would pass it on to the senator. She said he looks at his messages multiple times per day and when I asked for a response, she took my email.
When you feel passionate about something, or even feel a little bit strongly about something, do something that can help make a change. If you feel strongly about GMO labeling, click here and call your congresspeople and senators that you are asking them to sign the letter to the FDA requiring GMO food labeling.
Go do it. You’ll feel good about yourself.
– The Goat Cheese Lady