On the same day as organic farmers met in Santa Rosa, CA, for the second annual Heirloom Seed Expo the 60 day comment period ended for twelve new genetically engineered products. While a growing number of family farmers, medical professionals, and plant scientists are warning of the health risks of GMO plants and animals, the Obama administration has sped up their approval process.
The sense of urgency was also heightened by another development. GMOs, mostly corn and soy, have been planted in the US for almost 20 years. However that corn and soy have been mainly used for animal feed, ethanol or for starch and corn sugar that has been added as ingredient to processed foods for humans, junk food and soft drinks. As of 2012 GMO foods will be aggressively promoted to be eaten directly. Corn, apples, potatoes, beets, papayas, squash and tomatoes etc. are already in the pipe line. So the battle over mandatory labeling of GMO foods has become more passionate and more urgent.
Winonah Hauter is the Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. The organization works to ensure that the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainably produced.
Recorded September 13, 2012