Joel Salatin and Dr. Joseph Mercola Explore GMO Issue in Labeling Debate

| 11/11/2013 12:06:00 PM

Joe vs JoelA 2006 Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology study found 58 percent of Americans were unfamiliar with the issue of genetically modified food, though were that study done again today, the number would be far greater. The reason? Last year’s campaign by No GMO activists for a California ballot initiative to require GMO labeling on food products. The effort failed, but the damage to the reputation of bio-engineered foods was considerable.

Social media spread the news far and wide of the concerns over GMOs.

A livestream and downloadable debate over the GMO labeling policy issue which took place in Atlanta last week may prove to raise consumer awareness higher still.  How we approach genetically modified ingredients in our food supply from a policy standpoint is an important question.

According to blog, the California effort inspired several counties in California to enact an outright ban on GMOs, and now Los Angeles is attempting a ban. Three counties in Oregon attempted to push for a ban on GMOs, only to be thwarted by their Governor’s Protect Monsanto Act. In spite of the governor’s calling an emergency session to derail the No GMO moves, Josephine County is persisting in their desire to remain GMO free.

The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund takes no official position on the GMO labeling issue, however, we would like to see a move away from the use of GMOs in food production. Our consumer and producer members are overwhelmingly opposed to genetically modified food.  Our artisan producer and farmer members seek to use other methods to increase fertility and reduce plant disease. Techniques popularized by Acres USA and Rodale Press, such as, crop rotation, compost, integrated pest management and organic soil amendments.

We focus on many other areas of food law, however we feel that the discussion of the politics of GMOs must continue to grow. For this reason, we are sponsoring an important debate this week in Atlanta, between two leading GMO Opponents who have a differing opinion on mandating federal labeling. Alternative health champion, Dr. Joseph Mercola, will stump for federally required labeling of GMO ingredients. Virginia farmer Joel Salatin will speak from a Libertarian view, against federal mandates.

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