Showing no signs of slowing down, Monsanto announced expansion of its Chesterfield Village Research Center in St. Louis by 400,000 square feet. On the same day, April 24th, a bipartisan bill was introduced to Congress requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods. It seems nothing can stop the power of the biotech industry to overtake the nation’s food supply, but average citizens are demonstrating in growing numbers their dissatisfaction with GMO foods. It is urgent that consumers change their purchasing habits and stop buying the worst offenders of genetically altered foods, while also lobbying their congressional leaders.
Monsanto continues expansion of GMO foods in the US
The biotech giant will spend more than $400 million to devote to research focused on expanding new genetically modified crops. Monsanto announced earlier in the month that it expects to sell a record amount of GMO corn this year. The company expects to add 675 jobs to the company in the next three years.
Americans demand GMO labeling of their foods
In growing numbers American consumers are demanding to know what is in their food. While the first state ballot mandating GMO labeling narrowly failed to pass in CA, to date 37 new GE labeling bills have been introduced in 21 states.
Every US citizen has the power through their purchasing habits to damage the biotech industry
Each time consumers shop for food they have the ability to vote for or against GMO foods. Consumers hold more power than they realize in their buying habits. If shoppers in this country stopped buying genetically modified foods, the food market would be dramatically impacted. The biotech industry would be damaged.
The corn, soy and canola industry has been taken over by genetically modified crops, so it is important to avoid these products, unless they are certified organic. They are often hidden in many processed foods in the forms of high fructose corn syrup, corn starch and soy lecithin. It is recommended to buy only certified organic corn or corn from local farmers who only use non GMO crops. Reading labels can be challenging, but the non-GMO shopping guide can be downloaded at no cost from the Institute for Responsible Technology: http://action.responsibletechnology.org
Biotech companies are threatened by the GMO labeling laws and understand their potential impact on consumer behavior
Biotech companies recognize that if more Americans realize that they are purchasing GMO foods, they may stop purchasing them. This change in consumer behavior could significantly damage the expansion of their companies. For this reason, Monsanto and the other biotech leaders invested millions to defeat the CA state ballot to label GMO foods.
Conclusion and resources
The battle to fight GMO foods in this country will be a challenge with the biotech companies’ expansive budgets and powers. As American consumers increase awareness about the dangers of GOM foods, there is a growing demand for GMO labels. By committing to make even one change in purchasing behavior, each individual can impact this important issue of food safety for Americans. Contacting legislators is also essential to save this countries’ food supply from damaging GMO’s.
To contact local legislators to register support for the Federal Labeling bill see: http://salsa3.salsalabs.com For more information on the dangers of genetically modified foods view: http://responsibletechnology.org/health-risks and http://responsibletechnology.org/docs/140.pdf
Sources for this article include: