GMO fears in California

Proposition 37 is more about ideology than science, said Bob Goldberg, a UCLA biologist and member of the National Academy of Sciences. “In many respects, I don’t view this as a political campaign, I view this as an anti-science campaign,” he told the Sacramento Bee.  As he noted, the American Association for the Advancement of Science recently issued a statement, saying: “The science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.” But the newspaper article opened with:

Safety of genetically modified foods is debated in California

Susan Lang doesn’t know for certain if her son’s itchy skin and upset stomach were caused by eating food made from crops whose genes were altered in a lab. But over the years, she believes she’s been able to soothe the 8-year-old’s eczema and digestive problems by eliminating genetically modified organisms from his diet.

“I know that when I feed this child better he does better, and feeding him better includes not feeding him GMOs,” Lang said. The Fair Oaks woman concedes, however, that her evidence is not scientific, saying she has “more than a hunch, but I don’t have proof.” …

18 responses to “GMO fears in California

  1. But global warming scientists are not to be questioned. Being anti-science or pro-science depends on what agenda is being impacted.

  2. It does not. There is no such thing as global warming science. Global warming is not to be questioned. No other anti-science sentiment is to be questioned if it is popular.

  3. “The science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.”

    If this is so, why are they not putting it on the package label like they do, “Gluten Free”, “High in Omega-3”, “Low Salt/Salt Free”, “Low Fat/Non-Fat”? If it’s so great – promote it, don’t hide it.

    They need to hire the guys from the sugar/HFCS industry to do their promotions.


  4. Oh yeah, I forgot “Organic”. Ha

  5. I think the law is flawed but why is labeling such a problem. If I choose to not eat GMO foods, why should I not have that choice. Right now I am finding it hard to get even that specific information from companies. They usually answer me with a vague response and never a definitive yes or no. If the science says it safe or bad I still want to know what i am eating. Labeling is very helpful in many aspects for a persons regulation of diet and their dietary needs. This is no different.

  6. Not that I am a Europhile or anything, but if GMO’s are so safe, why are they banned (at least I think I remember reading that) in the EU?

    • GMOs are not banned in Europe. There was the scare GMO corn caused cancer. The EU investigated and found there was no basis for the accusation.

      I think it is safe to assume that practically all foods are genetically modified unless it states otherwise.

      Requiring the labeling is stupid and foolish. However, I think the affect of labeling what amounts to EVERYTHING as having genetically modified content will have…ZERO impact and will become part of the background noise of all the verbiage you find on the jar/can/box – crowding out the following labeling already on there:
      1) ingredients
      2) nutrition
      3) processed in the same plant as peanuts
      4) non-gluten containing foods stating they are processed in the same plants as gluten containing foods
      5) directions for cooking
      6) USDA inspection stamp
      7) Company information
      8) Company contact information
      9) UPC code
      10)”Good Until” date
      11) manufacturing origin
      12) Poison control contact information (for drugs)
      13) assumptions of nutrition calculations
      14) Food logo.

  7. The question is not over labeling, food companies can label GMO content if they want to. The question is over *compulsory* labeling, which in the US is reserved only for things relevant to health or nutrition. GMO content is not relevant in that way.

    • That’s fine, I am not a fan of compulsory labeling. I only want to know if a food I am buying contains it. Without labeling shouldn’t a company be obligated, possibly legally, to provide that information if I ask.
      In the end I think private labeling like the Non GMO organization will be the best solution. It is similar to the UL listing on consumer products and to me requires less government involvement.

  8. Greg Conko and Henry Miller wrote a good overview of the problems with GMO labeling and the issues surrounding this debate that may be of help. They explain the scientific evidence and rationale behind current FDA regulations. Here is link to their Forbes article:

    • Maybe my definition is a little more narrow when it comes to GMO but cross breeding and selective breeding of plants is not a concern. Its adding chemicals to the food that I am concerned about.
      As a consumer I want to know what I am eating, how we label is up for debate but either way I want to know if the food I am eating has been genetically modified with chemicals that would never have been introduced through the normal process of cross breeding and selective breeding

      • Tom,
        GM foods have no chemicals in them that don’t occur in ‘natural’ foods. Maybe less persticides/herbicides/toxins – perhaps?
        I still think that through labelling you should be able to disciminate though!

        • Food that contains pesticides is one thing but genetically altering an organism to include those pesticides is troublesome to me.
          In the end I believe I should be able to choose what foods I eat and should not be restricted from doing so. Should labeling be manditory, no but I should be able to find out by some means what my food contains and where it comes from. Maybe there is no problem with GMO food as far as we know right now but what we know today may not be what we learn tomorrow. I personally want to cautious. this doesnt mean I am completely completely GMO free, I just want to limit my intake of GMOs.

          • Tom,
            I am in agreement with you about labelling.


            • From what I understand the GMO “pesticides” are naturally occurring in plants we already eat (been a while since I read about it. I may not be totally accurate on the fine point) which is why no labeling is required and is why they were grafted.
              Organic growers use pesticides of which many of them are very hazardous. If you don’t think they do, you are fooling yourself.
              Organic produce provides you NOTHING extra that normal hybrid/GMO produce. Organic foods don’t taste better (locally grown however does taste better but that is my subjective opinion). They aren’t more nutritious. They aren’t healthier. They aren’t bigger, They aren’t sweeter. In fact, many times the organic stuff looks smaller and puny. I am really sick of hearing the arguments for organic foods. I think it’s a rip off. And there is NO WAY organic farming will feed the world NO. WAY.

            • You want to raise everyone’s cost so you don’t have to do any research. Sounds pretty selfish to me. Do some research.

  9. As someone who has used insulin made from e-coli bacteria for years, I cannot relate to the fear of GMO. However, I am putting in a link for Tom:
    You can buy organic if you are concerned enough you will pay double to avoid the problem. If you aren’t that concerned, I’m not sure why you are insistent on labeling. Changing labeling is expensive and as pointed out above, already pretty much worthless due to legal disclaimers and TMI. It’s hard to tell if something is harmful or if the company is just trying to avoid being sued.

  10. Again, lots of websites with that information. You can eat organic. You can grow your own food. Hope you have good genetics (bad bad insulin and other manufactured drugs–you don’t want to stick a genetically modified ecoli bacteria in your system 3 times a day, I’m sure).
    Another website:
    If you don’t want to take the time to research on your own, you obviously don’t care that much about this topic. All companies have contact numbers or websites. Look it up if it really matters to you. Otherwise, stop complaining.

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