GMO or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.
Human Health Risks: More and more studies point to the idea that there’s grave cause for concern about the health effects of consuming GMOs and the chemicals they are sprayed with, including food allergies, irritable bowels, organ damage, cancer
Environmental Risks: Seventy-two percent of US GMO crops are engineered to tolerate a certain type of herbicide. But the weeds that these herbicides used to kill are coming back bigger and stronger, creating herbicide-resistant “superweeds” that require greater quantities of more toxic pesticides to eradicate.
As the fight over the DARK Act heats up in the House this week, new survey data underscore what polls by Washington Post, New York Times and Consumer Reports have been showing for years: 9 of every 10 Americans want genetically engineered foods, or “GMOs,” to be labeled.
It’s hard to think of anything that 90 percent of Americans can agree on—and that’s regardless of age, income, education, race or even party affiliation. In fact, more people want GMO labeling than watched the Super Bowl or enjoy baseball, kittens or even apple pie!
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Even though people overwhelmingly support GMO labeling, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this week on a bill that would block states’ ability to require it.
And the bill—H.R. 1599, which we’ve dubbed the DARK Act, for “Deny Americans the Right to Know”—goes beyond blocking state GMO labeling laws, like those on the books in Vermont, Connecticut and Maine. It would further add to consumer confusion by allowing food producers to put the nebulous label “natural” on food products that contain GMOs.
Americans want and deserve the same right to know as citizens in 64 other nations that require GMO labeling. It’s time for members of Congress to listen to consumers across the country who want to know more—not less—about their food.