Does Dinner Need More Labels?

Before food goes on my children's plates, I want to know where and how it was grown, don't you?  If I can't grow the food myself, I'd prefer it be from a farmer in my community.  If I can't buy the food from a local farmer and I must buy from a store, I still want to know just as much about the origin of that food.

When I asked Monsanto spokesman Tom Helscher recently for comments regarding what's at issue with the case versus Organic Seed Growers Association, et. al, he had this to say about farmers.  "It is our view that farmers should have the freedom to choose the production method best suited for their needs, whether organic, conventional, or biotechnology.  All of these agriculture systems contribute to the needs of consumers and meeting the demands of a growing population."

When I asked Helscher for any comment on having genetically modified foods labeled in stores, he pointed out the Non-GMO Project to me.  He noted that via the voluntary Non-GMO labeling and also through the USDA Organic seal, consumers can find choices in stores now that don't contain GM ingredients.  He has a point.

Supporters of the Just Label It campaign are concerned about all of the other foods that consumers unwittingly buy without realizing they often contain GM or transgenic ingredients.  They say more than 80% of processed foods are transgenic, although most of us don't even realize it.  That's why Just Label It is asking for mandatory labeling of all GM foods.

One of the strangest stories I've heard since covering this topic is that some conventional farmers now won't eat the food they grow.  Instead they want the non-GM, organic stuff on their plates.  Gives me more food for thought as I consider what to serve my kids for dinner.

Labels: , , , ,