GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism and is defined as “an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.” The technique used to create GMOs is called recombinant DNA.
DNA molecules from different organisms are combined to create one molecule of DNA, and are then transferred to an organism, causing its genetic makeup to change. GMOs have been linked to serious health conditions, including negative reproductive system effects, food allergies, and possibly even cancer.
It has recently been announced that the government has voted against labeling GMO foods. The House of Representatives voted to ban states from passing their own laws requiring GMO labels.
The House passed a bill called the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act that is to set up GMO labeling for companies on a voluntary basis. Food companies that want to label their products as GMO-free would have to go through a certification from the Department of Agriculture.
A recent poll by the Mellman Group showed that 90 percent of consumers do want to know what is in their food, including genetically modified ingredients. Some representatives believe that consumers have the right to know if there are GMOs in the products they buy.
“What this legislation is suggesting is that regardless of what consumers want, they won’t be told,” said Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). “This is not about a small group of activists. This is states like Vermont, like Maine and like Connecticut, with massive bipartisan votes, Republicans and Democrats, saying that they wanted to have the right to have these products labeled.”
“Americans have a right to know what is in their food and how it is grown,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). “Instead of undermining this progress, Congress should require mandatory GMO labeling at the federal level.”
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1. “House Votes To Ban States From Labeling GMO Foods.” Huffington Post. Huffington Post, 23 July 2015. Web. 28 July 2015.
2. “Support For Requiring Labels On GMO Foods Is Overwhelming Across All Segments.” (n.d.): n. pag. Agri Pulse. The Mellman Group. Web. 28 July 2015.
3. “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015.” Department of Agriculture (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 28 July 2015.