A lot is being written about GMOs right now. I could spend every day, all day responding to the propaganda articles being put out there by the opposition to GMO Labeling. However, I know my energy is better spent educating others about GMOs and fighting for GMO labeling. However, yesterday in the Wall Street Journal there was an Op Ed piece, Biotechnology on the Ballot, that I just could not ignore. I submitted the below response to the Wall Street Journal. They would not print my response in it's entirety and requested that I shorten it to 270 words or less as a Letter to the Editor. I have submitted an extremely watered down, less effective version of what you can read below. Whether it gets printed or not is yet to be seen. But, I needed to share my response with all of you. Not to mention, I find it infuriating that Alex Berezow, a pathetic excuse for a scientist, is granted the privilege of having his full opinion printed for all the world to see, but I do not get that privilege as I am "just a mom" fighting the good fight.
For anyone who thinks I do not have a right to know what is in my food, THIS IS FOR YOU!
I am writing in response to the October 18th Op Ed piece "Biotechnology on the Ballot" by Alex Berezow, the editor of RealClearScience. I am a concerned mother of three children, a former New York City Prosecutor, and a Certified Holistic Health Counselor. I am currently leading the group, GMO Free CT, an organization dedicated to GMO education and also advocating for a GMO Labeling bill in Connecticut.
Given my background, it will come as no surprise that I found Berezow’s Op Ed piece very frustrating. Even if everything Berezow said in his OP Ed piece was true, which it is NOT, it still does not take away from the fact that I deserve the right to know if the food I am eating and feeding my family is derived from seeds that have been grown on this earth for thousands upon thousands of years or derived from products that have been genetically engineered in a science lab . For Berezow to draw a comparison between eating the naturally occurring bacteria in the soil with consuming the bacterial genes being inserted into the DNA of GMO seeds is absurd and lacks scientific credibility. What we should be focusing on is the fact that GMOs have NEVER been proven safe. To the contrary, a recent study out of France, which received very little attention in the US but showed up on covers of magazines and newspapers throughout Europe, showed rats that ate GMOs for two years developed massive tumors, had multiple organ failure and early death. Why has the burden been shifted onto people like me to try and prove that GMOs are dangerous? Why is the burden not on our government and the industry making GMOs to prove they are safe? Typically, you would need long term safety studies before any new drug or food additive is released to the public, but GMOs were granted "generally recognized as safe" or "GRAS" status without following the required protocols or meeting any of the stated requirements. Anyone who looks at what the requirements are to be designated GRAS will notice that GMOs did not meet these requirements. The FDA's own scientists warned their superiors that GMOs needed further testing before being released into the food supply, but these warning were completely ignored. Where are the long term feeding studies conducted by the United States Government? Where are the studies from the FDA that prove to me GMOs are safe for my three young children to consume? The answer is there are none. It is clear that our federal government has abandoned the citizens of this country, the very people who put them in office, and has instead chosen to support the interests of the industries that fund their political campaigns.
I am not in anyway opposed to scientific advancement and believe science has its place, it is even possible that the technology behind GMOs could be perfected at some point in the future, maybe, after decades of long term testing, GMOs could even be proven safe. But, right now, despite being fed to the American public for twenty years, there is no proof they are safe. In fact, there is a lot of proof that they are making us sick. Think about the health of the American public since 1996, which is when GMOs were introduced. The modern diseases of today, such as diabetes, autism, allergies, gastrointestinal diseases and cancer to name a few, have all increased at alarming rates since 1996. What Berezow's Op Ed did not point out, is that the vast majority of GMOs today were engineered to either produce their own pesticide or resist herbicide (i.e., roundup) - which means that the same companies producing the GMO seeds sell you roundup to be sprayed in copious amounts on the crops. Unfortunately for the GMO companies, their technology is backfiring. The weeds are now becoming resistant to roundup as well, which is creating a need for stronger, more dangerous herbicides such as 2-4D, which was the main component in Agent Orange. In addition, the worms and bugs that the crops were supposed to kill with the pesticide their engineered cells were producing, are now resistant to the pesticides. You cannot mess with Mother Nature and we are now creating super weeds, super bugs and super worms.
The GMOs on the market right now are not drought resistant, are not feeding hungry populations, and are not producing a higher yield than traditional crops. GMOs are only feeding overfed, under nourished, fat Americans. GMOs are not in the food in Europe, in Asia or in Africa. They are grown here and eaten here. If GMOs are so great, then the companies should be proud to label the products as such. Instead, when labels are required (as they are overseas in 60+ countries), the companies remove GMOs from those products. That is the elephant in the room that no one is naming because the opposition is frightened that labeling in America will be the end of the GMO industry and they (being the biotech industry) will lose a lot of money.
Leaders from around the country are currently uniting to form the Coalition of States For Mandatory GMO Labeling. The fight to label GMOs and have a right to know what is in our food is far from over. California has the chance to make history and pave the way for all the other states to pass similar GMO labeling laws. I am begging the citizens of California to vote YES on Prop 37 and be the voice of the people. Do not allow the industry to mislead you with lies and convince you to vote in favor of their interests rather than your own.
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