Friday, July 30, 2010

A Slippery Slope We Want

A Slippery Slope We Need
The Huffington Post published a top 10 list of why we want to require labels on products that  include the presence of GEF, or Genetically Engineered Food.  The reasons why to do so are compelling and it's scary to think there is even a possibility that such labeling would not be required. And the possibility is very real. Lobbyists for big agriculture and food manufacturers are working hard to prevent required labels. Why? Three reasons I can think of:
1.  It could add cost to the production process
2. Some consumers may then choose not to buy products with GEF
3. The honesty in labeling could the extend to other things

Number 3 is really what they are worried about. There are very questionable ingredients in many processed foods that we buy, eat and feed to our loved ones. There are huge, gaping loopholes in what is required on labels. For example, most people would avoid something with monosodium glutamate (MSG) if the package had it on the ingredient list. Unfortunately, manufacturers are permitted to use the generic term "spices" on a label when in fact they are referring to MSG.

So, if we actually implement true, honest and accurate labeling for GEF, we are only a few short steps away (or at least the kind of short steps that exist in our policy process), from extending that policy to all of the things that end up in the boxes of processed food we buy. Such a policy would be a huge benefit for the public and a really big pain for the people that put things in our food that probably shouldn't be there in the first place. 

We are a Government of the people. Wouldn't it be nice if the policies they create are also for the people?         

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