Does this food contain genetically modified organisms? That’s what many consumers, including overseas trading partners, want to know about the food they’re buying.
A prime example of that is the recent initiative in California, dubbed the “Right to Know” campaign, which calls for food manufacturers in the Golden State to identify genetically engineered ingredients on the labels of food products sold in that state.
With almost as many as 1 million signatures gathered on the petition in time for the April 22 deadline, organizers predict that the measure will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. (The state requires just over a half million valid signatures for an initiative to qualify to be on the ballot.)
On a global level, 40 countries, including all of Europe, Japan and China, require labeling of foods, or of certain foods, containing GMOs. The U.S. has resisted labeling, and in 1992 the Food and Drug Administration established a policy declaring there is no substantial or material difference between genetically engineered foods and foods that haven’t been genetically engineered.
The question arises: How in the world do scientists determine if foods contain GMOs?
No, the question that naturally arises is why should anyone care at all about the breeding mechanics of grain or vegetable? Does it matter that the corn was tasseled and hand pollinated? Does the consumer care that bees were trafficked across state lines and rented out to pollinate the apple blossom that eventually resulted in the fruit at the market? None of this information is relevant to the consumer.