Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Labeling Of GMO Foods Is Not 'Calling Anyone's Bluff'

John Phillips: Barbadian bio-geneticist and nutrition specialist, was one of the first to point out the links between consuming GMO foods and Alzheimer's.

Well, it's becoming ever clearer that the Neoliberal food consortium is determined to prevent any useful GMO food labeling. We already know that in July last year the House of Representatives - by 275- 150- passed the 'Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act'.   Also known by anti-GMO activists as the DARK Act, it would pre-empt all state and local labeling laws. So even if your state happens to pass an amendment or referendum to mandate GMO food labeling, this specious law can overturn it. Welcome to Neoliberal democracy!

Then, in June last year, the FDA rejected a citizens' petition by activist groups demanding mandatory  GMO labeling. The FDA response noted that the petition presented no evidence that "such foods present any different or greater concerns than foods developed by traditional plant breeding".  But the FDA has it ass-backwards. By the precautionary principle it is not the activists who must demonstrate "safety concerns" attendant on GMO foods,  it is the GMO food producers' job to prove their products are safe.

There are many reasons why it needs to be the GMO food manufacturers' responsibility.

According to the Bulletin from 'Food & Water Watch' :

"GMO ingredients are hidden in 70 percent of processed food in this country. This is only a 'best guess'  because no one knows for sure as they are not labeled. Also, very little is known of the long term effects of what GMOs can do to your health because they've not been properly tested. But what facts we do have are alarming."

The Bulletin then references:

"Real lab rats fed GMOs have suffered kidney and liver damage, cancerous tumors and even premature death."

Wonder why so many people are now needing kidney and liver transplants? These hidden GMOs  may be one huge contributing factor.

Among the other alarming facts is the horrific link to glyphosate as exposed by Barbadian geneticist and nutritionist John Phillips, who has noted:

"Among other toxins and other health-disrupting contaminants, GMO foods contain glyphosate, a horrifically destructive chemical that saps nutrients from foods and quite literally makes them toxic to consume."

 Phillips also ties the prevalence of glyphosate to the increasing numbers of people with Alzheimer's in the U.S. This disease destroys the brain and renders victims little more than zombies.  By contrast, European incidence is lower per capita - attributed to their GMO labeling laws. Why the desperate refusal to label GMOs in the U.S.? Because it would cut into the profits of the biggest GMO producers like Monsanto which now rings up $11.8 billion a year in sales.

All this is germane now as we learn that Campbell's Soups is "ready to bet on the good sense of consumers and their faith in the scientific consensus" . This is despite its soups being labelled as "having GMO ingredients" (Denver Post editorial, 'Opposing GMOs Just Got Harder', Jan. 18, p. 18A)

According to the Post editorial:

"As Campbell's chief executive freely acknowledged to the New York Times, three fourths of her company's products include GMO corn, canola, soy beans or sugar beets"

The Post editorial goes on to note that Campbell's obviously expects consumers to go on buying the products and "if so the decision (to openly label) will go a long way toward ending the shrill GMO labeling wars"  adding:

"The anti-GMO movement, fueled by the organic food industry and anti-corporate activists, has maintained for years that all it wants is to provide the public with more information. Campbell Soup is about to call their bluff."

Actually, there is no 'bluff to be called. Campbell's Soup,  as a responsible and judicious corporate citizen,  is simply doing what we've asked all food manufacturers to do: label their foods, including GMO ingredients. Whether this in fact translates into a consumer 'no purchase'  decision is up to the consumer not "activists". No one I know, including John Phillips, is out to shut GMO producers down, any more than the cigarette or tobacco snuff makers. They only ask that the products be properly labeled to at least leave buyers with an informed decision.

Nor does Campbell's decision to label nullify the precautionary principle.

The Post, by insisting GMO labeling activists' have conspiracy motives, simply discredits its whole case. Also, failing to realize that Campbell's success in selling its GMO-labeled soups and other products isn't "calling activists'  bluff" but merely proving what we've said all along: that labeling will not adversely impact GMO food makers unless consumers make that conscious choice. It will not happen by the mere presence of a label!

Never mind. The Campbell's experiment - whichever way it goes- will be unlikely to alter the anti-labeling bunch who are determined to shove these foods down our gullets whether we want them or not. All this, just in time to devour GMO-engineered chickens, approved by the FDA last month.

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