Target: Federal Drug and Food Administration
Goal: Ensure that all genetically modified foods are thoroughly screened and labeled for consumers.
Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, any substance that is considered a food additive must undergo required screening and approval by the FDA. Most genetically engineered crops and animals do not fit the definition of a food additive (a substance intentionally added to a food) and therefore do not require the same kind of screening that their non-GMO counterparts do. With the mounting risks associated with consuming these genetically modified foods, it is imperative that labeling be required to distinguish them for consumers. But until the FDA recognizes that these risks are a threat worth recognizing, food-labeling laws will never be a priority.
In many other nations including Australia, China, and the European Union, labeling laws for GM foods already exist and their prevalence has impacted consumers and food markets everywhere. In the United States however, proposals to implement regulatory laws have been stopped by agriculture industries fearing changes that would take place if consumers were as informed as they ought to be. Genetically modified ingredients are in everything from cereal to soft drinks, with up to 88% of the corn we consume and almost 95% of the soy being genetically altered somehow.
Very recently, a French study was conducted on rats that showed GM corn to cause tumors and multiple organ damage leading to early death. Because we as humans have longer life spans and are essentially consuming the same substances, we put our own selves at risk by allowing food industries to evade regulation and labeling for their own profit and fear of change. And because companies like Coca-Cola and Nestlé invest millions annually into stopping support for propositions like ‘The Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act’ (being voted on in California on November 6th), consumers are often swayed the other way due to misleading information.
Just like people have the right to choose what they would like to put into their bodies, they also have the right to know what it is they’re choosing. Urge the FDA to ignore political pressure from these major companies looking after their own agendas instead of our health, and fight for universal recognition of the rising risks associated with these GM foods, which are not to be grouped into the same category as their non-GMO counterparts. Once this is established, labeling and regulation is more likely to be mandated everywhere, and the consumer will finally be able to make a clear choice.
Dear Federal Drug and Food Administration,
With the advancement of biotechnology, comes the advancement of knowledge. More and more consumers are being informed of the mounting risks associated with GM food consumption, and yet you have failed to recognize this by standing by your outdated regulations.
With the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act not recognizing the potential risks and harm associated with many substances that are on the market today, consumers are being misinformed and current research backs this up. Clearly, the food companies do not want to cover the costs of the labeling changes that must take place, but is it worth the cost of our health later on?
Please recognize the risks and unknowns that come along with biotechnology infiltrating the food industry by amending sections 201(s) and 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to include GMOs along with additives as being required of screening and regulation. Genetically engineered foods are no longer GRAS or ‘generally recognized as safe’ and our laws must be updated to reflect this.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Katrina Sadowski