Posted by Katie on October 4, 2011
With No Action from Obama, Family Farmers Call on President to Keep His Word
See Video Here: http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/sign/label_gmos_now/
Clear Lake, IA — Food Democracy Now! has released an exclusive video showing President Obama on the campaign trail in Iowa promising to “immediately” label genetically modified foods sold in U.S. grocery stores.
Food Democracy Now! joins a broad coalition of more than 400 businesses, co-ops and organizations in support of a legal petition filed by the Center for Food Safety to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and urges President Obama to order the FDA to grant this petition to label genetically modified food.
For the past 20 years, Americans have been denied the right to know that the vast majority of processed foods that they eat contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as a result of a flawed regulatory system that has relied on corporate science without adequate peer-reviewed testing and scientific oversight. During this time, polls have consistently showed that more than 90 percent of Americans believe that genetically engineered food should be labeled. In a recent ABC News Poll, 93 percent of the American public supported mandatory labeling of GMOs.
On November 10, 2007, then Senator Obama, at a rural summit with more than 400 Iowa farmers and activists from across the country present, recognized America’s right to know what’s in their food and pledged to label genetically modified food when elected:
Here’s what I’ll do as President. I’ll immediately implement Country of Origin Labeling because Americans should know where their food comes from. And we’ll let folks know whether their food has been genetically modified because Americans should know what they’re buying.
“It’s time for President Obama to live up to the campaign promise he made to Iowa farmers and all consumers on labeling our foods,” said David Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now! “The fact is President Obama has enabled biotech seed and chemical corporations to deny American consumers the opportunity to know what is in the food they feed their families.”
“We agree with President Obama’s campaign trail speech; ‘Americans have a right to know what they’re buying.’ Now is the time for follow-through.”
According to the Grocery Manufacturers Association, an estimated 80 percent of processed food sold in the U.S. contains GMO ingredients. Since the USDA reports that 94 percent of soybeans, 88 percent of corn, 90 percent of cotton, 93 percent of canola and industry reports 95 percent of sugar beets grown in the U.S. are genetically modified using crude biotech methods and the majority of processed foods in America contain at least one ingredient from these cheap commodity crops, it is virtually impossible for American consumers to eat a meal without consuming GMOs.
“In eight out of ten cases, if Americans pick up a package of processed food at the grocery store that includes common ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, vegetable oils made from corn, soybeans, cottonseeds and canola, they are consuming genetically engineered foods,” said Murphy.
In the past nine months, the Obama administration has ramped up approval of GMO crops, including Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GMO alfalfa, Roundup Ready sugar beets, Syngenta’s ethanol corn and a Scotts MiracleGro variety of GMO grass for lawns, while approval for GMO salmon is currently pending with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
With this increasing approval of GMO crops, the Obama administration has indicated a strong bias towards promoting this relatively new and improperly tested technology in America’s food. These are choices that many Americans fundamentally disagree with and are in opposition to Obama’s campaign promise.
“We all should have the right to decide what we want to consume, and accurately labeling food is an essential part of that process,” said Fred Kirschenmann, who farms more than 3,500 acres of organic grain crops in North Dakota and serves as the Distinguished Fellow at the Iowa State University Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. “Labeling is simply a way to empower people to make their own decisions based on things they care about."
“Already more than 40 countries around the globe, including Australia, Brazil, the European Union, Japan, Russia and even China, have labeling requirements for foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients,” said Murphy.
Food Democracy Now!, based in Clear Lake, Iowa, is a grassroots movement of more than 250,000 farmers and citizens, working to reform our food and agricultural