Monsanto was for GMO Food Labeling before it was Against it
As November approaches, election time draws near. Besides containing the usual list of political candidates vying for public acceptance, ballots offer any number of amendments and proposals for voter approval. In 2012, heated debate continues in California over Proposition 37. If accepted as legislation, Proposition 37 requires that any scientifically enhanced food products sold in the state include genetic modification or GMO labeling. Though an advocate for labeling genetically altered foods during the 1990s, agriculture conglomerate Monsanto now suspiciously becomes the proposal’s largest adversary.
Monsanto in the UK
Beginning in 1997, the European Union and the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency required GMO labeling on every food product undergoing any degree of scientific alteration. At the time, Monsanto seemingly supported the full disclosure mandate. Advertising campaigns sided with consumers having a “right to know” whether farmers produced specific foods using biotechnologically enhanced seeds.
Monsanto additionally provided stores with consumer leaflets bearing toll free numbers that encouraged customers to contact the company directly with any questions concerning GMO food products. Monsanto’s diplomatic efforts emerged after the implementation of legislation. Prior to government policy, the company exercised no effort for rebuttal.
Now Monsanto proclaims that Proposal 37 remains unnecessary legislation and wastes money better earmarked for other worthwhile projects. However, the self-proclaimed sustainable company spent over four million dollars in attempts at stopping the proposal while using persuasion tactics on the California government and the state’s citizens. The latest polls indicate that in fact Monsanto endured the unnecessary financial deficit as approximately 70 percent of voters surveyed intend on approving Proposal 37. Unless consumers have access to the laboratory equipment necessary for performing an elaborate legal DNA test on food products, food sold in California presently offers no indication of being genetically modified.
The many anti-37 arguments used by Monsanto include suggesting that anyone expressing concerns over GMO food products have the option of purchasing organic foods. Representatives for the company insist that whether grown naturally or developed using biotechnology, foods exhibit no difference and pose no health risks. The FDA has not required intense studies involving biotechnologically enhanced foods. Political history suggests that effective lobbying on the part of Monsanto and other agricultural manufacturers heavily influenced the current no labeling policy.
While the American Medical Association also does not consider scientific testing of GMO foods necessary at this time, should a pattern of problems develop, that criterion might change. However, independent studies suggest that possible problems associated with GMO foods include a potential for increased allergies and nutritional deficits.
GMO Foods Enhanced-Fact or Fake?
According to a former researcher from the Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas, Donald R. Davis claims that scientific data in many instances indicates that produce grown five decades ago exhibited superior qualities. Davis explains that not only do today’s fresh foods lack the same flavor but also up to 40 percent of vital nutrients. Researchers call this the dilution-effect.
Laboratory testing suggests that creating abnormally large fruits or vegetables increases the amount of cellular tissue but does not change the amount of minerals and vitamins commonly found in that piece of produce. Davis points out that industrial farms now commonly use a number of fertilizers and insecticides that along with genetic altering, encourage faster production. Without sufficient time spent in the growing environment, produce does not have sufficient time for absorbing nutrients from the soil and mother plant.
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