Shelby: We are wrapping up our series on genetically modified foods. And today, Maggie Rulli takes a closer look at the latest debate that might impact your decisions at the grocery store.
Maggie: Organic, all-natural, gluten free, but what about this one? It is causing a debate across the country – whether or not to require labels on foods that contain genetically modified organisms.
Ashley Ugarte: It’s the job of the government to inform us, to let us know what exactly we’re putting into our bodies.
Phillip Bowles: To put a label on everything that might have GMOs in it, it would be a label on almost everything.
Maggie: Those against labeling claim that it will just confuse customers, will be tough to enforce, and it will make people unnecessarily fearful of their products.
Phillip: The thing about it that bothers me is that it’s kind of giving in to the hinny-pinny crowd who want us to be afraid of everything.
Protestors: If it’s GMO, I have a right to know!
Maggie: But those pushing for labels say consumers should know what they are buying, especially what they are eating.
Warren Webber: I mean, it’s transparency. You’re growing GMO crops and you can’t sell them now because the company doesn’t want to put it on the label? Well, maybe you should think about that. I mean, we should be proud of what we are growing.
Maggie: Polls show that more than 90% of Americans support regulations on GMO labeling. And at least twenty-six states have introduced bills to require a GMO label, yet none have passed an unconditional GMO labeling law. Why? Some say, just follow the money.
Anti-label supporter: That’s why I oppose Prop 37.
On the anti-label side: a few big food and agriculture corporations, including the two biggest GMO seed manufacturers, Monsanto and Dupont, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association that represents companies like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. On the pro-label side: thousands of small companies, many farmers and individuals. For example, this summer in California, the groups against labeling spent $45 million to block a proposed law, five times the amount spent by the pro-label groups.
Protestors: GMOs have got to go!
Maggie: As the debate continues in our country, the United States is now feeling pressure from abroad to make a decision as more than sixty other countries have some type of legislation on the use and labeling of GMOs. And as Ashley Ugarte from Teens Turning Green notes, your choices might just decide the future of our food.
Ashley: My generation, we’re the next generation of consumers. We have so much voting power in our dollars that anytime we go into the grocery store, whether we choose organic, whether we choose the conventional, that casts a vote in what the industry is going to give us. That’s why it’s so important to realize that anything that we do today can have a huge impact tomorrow.
Maggie: Maggie Rulli, Channel One News.
Shelby: Now we want to know what you think. Should GMO foods be labeled? Head to Channelone.com to weigh in. We might read some of your answers on the show.