Target: Right to Know Colorado GMO
Goal: Require labeling of genetically engineered foods so consumers can make informed decisions about what they eat
The Colorado Supreme Court recently helped pave the way for new labeling requirements of genetically engineered foods. Despite pressure from mainstream biotech, pesticide, and grocery interests, the court affirmed a ballot title sponsored by Right to Know Colorado GMO. Now 86,105 signatures are needed by early August to place the initiative on the November 2014 statewide ballot.
The Right to Know campaign is a grassroots effort established by local residents. Collectively, they are requesting a simple label indicating whether or not food has been genetically engineered. They do not seek a ban on GMO foods, but are instead looking for consumer transparency. They work from the premise that we have a fundamental right to know what is in our food and the right to choose what we eat. To ensure that labeling requirements are placed on the ballot, they will partner with local farmers, farmers markets, mothers, faith-based organizations, natural and organic food retailers, and consumer advocacy organizations.
Genetically modified foods are altered by the introduction of genes from a different organisms and it is estimated that more than 80 percent of conventional processed foods contain genetically engineered ingredients, primarily from GMO corn, soy, canola, cotton, sugar beets and other crops. There are no federal GMO labeling requirements, so consumers are unaware of the ingredients. According to Just Label It, a national GMO labeling advocacy organization, more than 90 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed wanted mandatory labeling of GMO foods. Biotech companies claim that GMOs are safe but a growing body of scientific research suggests that there are enough risks to justify consumer transparency.
Support the collective effort of Right to Know Colorado and its campaign to make GMO labeling requirements a reality. As consumers, we have a fundamental right to control what we eat and feed to our families.
Dear Right to Know Colorado GMO,
I applaud your campaign to require labeling of genetically engineered foods. Your collective effort will help ensure that consumers can make informed decisions about the food they feed their families.
As you are well aware, scientific research suggests that GMO foods pose enough health risks to justify consumer transparency. It is time for the United States to join with the sixty-four other countries which require GMO labeling, but until federal regulation is in place, it is up to citizens to help create and carry out policies at the state level.
Having recently learned of your grassroots efforts to ensure that labeling regulations are on the Colorado state ballot in November, I hope to raise awareness about your campaign. As consumers, we have a fundamental right to control what we eat. Thank you for your work to make that happen.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Lindsay Eyink via Wikimedia Commons