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Just Do It

By Anne Dietrich

Would you rather feed your kids food engineered by nature or  Monsanto? Since more than 80% of processed food contains GMO’s, having a choice means labeling it. When former Congressman Jim Bates asked U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to label GMO’s the Secretary responded: “I have talked to my staff about labeling genetically engineered food.  They said it wasn’t a good idea because, if we did that, the public might become concerned.”  There’s good reason to be concerned. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s own scientists gave extensive warnings about these novel inventions.  But genetically engineered organisms weren’t invented when the U.S. Food Drug and Cosmetic Act was written, and labeling was not stipulated when they hit the market in 1992. Why? Because the F.D.A. had determined genetically engineered crops were the same (‘substantively equivalent’) as conventional crops.  Of course, this begs the question:  If there weren’t any difference, then why were they genetically engineered . . ?

As a result of overwhelming public support in more than 30 states, the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act was introduced in both chambers of Congress. This legislation stipulates that all food containing genetically engineered organisms must be labeled.  According to Congressman Peter Defazio, one of the bill’s authors, “Food manufactures have a duty to disclose what is in our food.”  Regardless of whether or not you voted, and regardless of what you think of politics, your representatives represent you.  This issue will be ultimately be decided by Congress.  For House Bill #913 and Senate Bill #511 to be voted into law, your representatives must hear from you.  Who do you suppose they listen to if they don’t hear from you?

You often hear the expression ‘vote with your dollars.’  Every time you purchase organic food, you are supporting the family farms that grow it, the supply chain that delivers it to your grocery aisle, and the values that sustain them. The same principle applies to our system of government. You must invest the time and attention to tell the decision makers, who are elected to act on your behalf, what you think and what you want. You are the strongest link in the chain – which requires you to pick up the phone and hold your elected officials accountable to you.  If your Senators or Congressperson have already co-sponsored the GMO Right-to-Know Act, it’s just as important to pick up the phone and thank them for their support. The power is in your hands.

Look up your Representatives phone numbers here:  For more information, please contact the Truth in Labeling Coalition in Fairfield, Iowa. 

Anne Dietrich, was an Iowa farm wife and mother of six, who has been advocating for pure food for twenty years. She leads a grass-roots national campaign in the U.S. to pass the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, which requires labeling of food containing genetically engineered organisms.

Follow Anne via her website, blog, and YouTube channels.

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