There's a bit of an uproar over California's Proposition 37 scheduled for the November 6 ballot. Another twenty states are considering similar measures.
It's a simple proposition requiring that all genetically altered foods be labeled as such. Genetic modification can mean anything from manipulating the genes of a tomato to cloning a cow. Advocates of the proposition feel everyone has a right to know if what they are consuming is natural, or not so much.
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So what is the problem?
label declaring that their Pop Tarts are genetically modified, the box will go back on the shelf and be replaced by a pint of strawberries. It stands to reason that there might be a decline in sales, but as we used to say in grade school, too bad, so sad.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science claims that such labeling would "mislead and falsely alarm consumers." It probably will mislead some consumers, like the ones who "watch the internet." I get confused by algebraic equations. Who cares? Since when does the release of knowledge rely on whether everyone will understand it?
Do ignorance, fear, and a smaller profit margin justify keeping the public in the dark? I'm sorry, but the last time I checked, the only justification for keeping full transparency from the public was in matters regarding national security. And a decrease in Fruit by the Foot sales doesn't fall under that category.
I want to know if I am eating a mutated mango, a cloned calf, or a hybrid habanero. The fact is that yes, some of these mutations may not be unhealthy, but as with most things in life, only time will tell. The truth is that we won't know if there are any adverse effects for years to come.
Enemies of Prop. 37 have spent $41 Billion trying to defeat the measure. When companies try to keep us in the dark about ingredients all it does is foster even more distrust. That makes me wonder...what's the big freaking deal?