Do You Know What's In Your Food?

Here is a short little true or false quiz to test your knowledge of GE foods (genetically engineered foods). Let's see how well we all do, shall we?

1. Some grocery stores in the United States have a policy of refusing to carry GE foods.

2. All packages of food that contains GE foods or ingredients must be labeled as such.

3. The FDA requires all producers of GE foods and ingredients to be extensively tested on human subjects before the product is allowed onto the market.

4. In the one instance where a food was voluntarily labeled as GE, the Flavr Savr tomato, the product was well received and is still being marketed.

5. Consumers in Europe have accepted GE food and ingredients onto their shelves with little public resistance.

6. When polled, few Americans stated that they cared about the ingredients in their food and welcomed GE food as another way to make food cheaper and more nutritional.

Okay, let's see how you did. If you answered False to all of these questions, then you know your GE facts. The reality is that the chemical and agricultural industries have successfully fought any and every effort to allow you to know the sources of your food and its ingredients.

First, every single grocery store in America carries food stuffs that were genetically engineered, whether the store wants to or not. That includes your favorite organic food store, too. Since no producer of seeds or fertilizer or even those businesses that add ingredients to your food are required to label the ingredients, you have absolutely no way to know what is in it.

In fact, not one manufacturer that employs GE foods in their product line has listed that information on their products.

The FDA, in fact, made an "independent" decision in 1992 not to require any grower or manufacturer to label their products if it contained any or was entirely composed of GE materials. That decision has not been revisited since that time.

There is no requirement whatsoever that GE foods and additives be tested in a systematic way on human subjects. The FDA "encourages" corporations to "voluntarily" participate in what the FDA calls a "consultation process". This means that corporations need only offer sketchy summaries of any studies that the corporation has done but has no requirement that the results be in-depth or even accurate. You are the test subjects each time you unknowingly purchase a product containing GE ingredients. Sadly, though, any adverse reactions or even deaths that may result from ingesting these products will never be traced back to the GE product since neither you or your doctor have any means to relate your illness or death to unlabeled and hidden GE products. These products can kill tens of thousands of Americans but the possibility of uncovering the cause is nil.

When the Flavr Savr tomato reached the market, it was roundly ignored and sales were nearly zero. The reason given by nearly every consumer who by-passed the Flavr Savr was that they did not trust any GE foods and had no intention of trying any. The tomato was quickly removed from the market but may have been returned unlabeled once the public forgot the incident.

European nations are being fined millions of dollars a month for refusing to allow GE products onto their shelves. The European Union, along with Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea, have enacted very strict consumer safety laws that require not only that the food be plainly labeled as containing GE ingredients but also mandate that the ingredient itself be shown on the label. The European Union has also banned any beef or dairy products from the U.S. to be sold in their stores since it contains rBHG, the Bovine Growth Hormone that has never been fully tested on humans nor, more importantly, have there been any studies examining this chemical's effect of infants and children. Nevertheless, nearly every dairy in America now uses the hormone so our children will have to serve as the test subjects but, again, they do so unwittingly since the dairy industry has successfully fought any demands that their produce be labeled.

Finally, in poll after poll, Americans have overwhelmingly stated that they want all ingredients listed and any genetically engineered ingredients prominently displayed. In fact, 93% of Americans polled want their food openly labeled and 73% very strongly wanted those labels. Of course, since America no longer cares what it citizens demand since the agricultural and chemical industries pay so much better so, even with the growing cry for labeling, there is little or no movement in our federal government to answer those demands. There is, of course, a lot of hot air emanating from the halls of Congress but, as all of us realize, hot air from Congress has no value nor does it portend any event save inaction. You can rest assured that Congress will continue to spew forth their nonsense, hoping that we all just go away and let them and the masters in Corporate America do as they please.

Okay, now we can see how little or how much we know about a truly important problem. This is important not only because it is just another instance of Corporate America forcing their agenda on real human beings but, far more importantly, because your children and mine are being maliciously used as the industry's guinea pigs in tests that have no limitations or even any process to discern any of the possible damages or deaths caused. The American people must speak up against this flagrant attack on you and your children's health and well-being. We cannot allow these filthy industries to continue this horror. (1, 2)

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