You have a right to know what’s in the food you’re buying, right? You can pick up almost anything and know if it’s organic, if it contains nuts and how many trans fats are within. But you don’t know if it includes ingredients derived from genetically modified crops, or GMOs. In just a few weeks, the citizens of Colorado and Oregon will vote to determine whether or not they want labels on foods containing genetically modified ingredients.
In recent years, similar laws were struck down in Washington and California and Vermont is currently facing legal action for the labeling law it enacted earlier this year. Connecticut and Maine already require the labeling. Proponents of these laws say consumers have a right to know what’s in their food. Opponents believe labeling laws will cause hardship for those who grow and sell GMO crops and derived products. It’s a ballot issue wrought with strong emotions from both sides.
In Colorado, voters will be asked if foods modified or treated with genetically modified materials should be labeled “Produced With Genetic Engineering” effective July 1, 2016. Under the proposed statue, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment would be responsible for regulating the labeling.
Foods from animals that are not genetically modified but have been fed or injected with genetically modified food or drugs are exempt, as are unpackaged foods for immediate consumption (produce), alcoholic beverages, food for animals and medically prescribed foods.
A 2003 poll by ABC news showed that large majorities of Americans favor mandatory labeling — 92 percent for genetically modified foods, and 85 percent for food from farm animals that have been fed hormones or antibiotics. The fact is that most people want the right to choose what they eat and what they feed their families. In order for consumers to make informed decisions, the public deserves a truthful marketplace – and that includes GMO product labeling.