By: Kerry Bringhurst

Organisms that have been genetically modified—commonly known as GMOs—are illegally being sold to consumers, that's according to Steven M. Druker, author of the book “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public.”

“I refute the propaganda and the hype coming for the proponents of genetically engineered food,” said Druker. “These foods shouldn’t have come to market in the first place.”

United Nations Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall appeared in Utah on Friday with Druker to promote his new book and share what he calls “the astounding story of how the massive enterprise has violated the protocols of science, and how hundreds of eminent biologists and esteemed institutions have systematically contorted the truth to conceal the risks of its products, and get them onto our dinner plates.”

The European Union requires producers and distributors of genetically modified food products to test and label their produce for consumers, a policy the U.S. government has not supported.

“And they [the consumers] clearly have a right to know,” he said. “But there is a much deeper and more fundamental right and that is the statutorily granted right not to have been subjected to these ill tested genetically engineered foods in the first place.”

According to information on the FDA’s website, the agency does regulate food made from genetically engineered plants to help ensure that they are safe to eat. Druker claims recently modified crops can be created without the agency's approval, through carefully worded policies and the fact that GMOs are not considered additives.

Consumers can force producers to limit the sales of products that are genetically modified by purchasing food marketed as organic, and that is happening on a small scale, Druker said. But he is hoping the public will become concerned with the legal aspects of the GMO enterprise, and not just the health issues.

“It was consumer resistance that really stopped GMOs from permeating the European Union food supply,” Druker said. “It wasn’t the regulators, it was the public.”

The USDA National Organic Standards do prohibit the use of GMOs and require that all organic foods sold in the U.S. be certified. Druker said labeling is not the answer, and that any and all sales of food in this country should be guaranteed safe for consumption. As outlined in his book, he is also taking his research to other countries, including Canada, where he appeared with Goodall in early April.

Originally Published: Utah Public Radio