While attention was diverted to the US election for much of this year, the Senate quietly made null and void state laws that require that GMO foods be labeled.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are a concern for a number of reasons. When consumed, GMOs have been shown to cause gastrointestinal problems, increase cancer risk, and even silence human genes, not to mention their harmful effects on the environment and endangered species such as bees. Within the US, there is also a dearth of safety testing as most tests that show that GMOs are “safe” are short-term studies, lasting only a matter of months. Longer-term studies, even those conducted for just a few months longer than industry-funded studies, have found that the consumption of GMOs causes serious problems, such as an increase in tumor risk. For those US consumers who are rightly concerned about the presence of GMOs in their food, mandatory GMO labeling is one solution that gives consumers the right to know what is in their food while not affecting the GMO food purchases of those who support biotechnology. A handful of US states have successfully passed GMO labeling laws such as Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont. Similar initiatives in other states, like California, only failed due to the massive amounts of money funneled to the opposition by Industrial Agriculture and Food companies as well as the corporations who create GMO seeds and associated agrochemicals, such as Monsanto.