A group of activists showed up in front of Chicago grocery store to protest the sale of genetically modified foods. The catch is that the store is Whole Foods Market, one of America’s top organic food retailers. The group, Organic Consumers Association, claims that genetically modified corn, soy, and other crops have become common ingredients in processed foods that Whole Foods has not been able to avoid selling products that contain them.
The protesters are even concerned that consumers might end up purchasing GMO products without them knowing it, especially after a large number of genetically modified crops have been approved in recent months.
“If companies say genetic engineering is fine, then let’s label it and let the consumers make their own decisions,” said Michael Hansen, a senior scientist at Consumers Union.
Meanwhile, Michael Jacobson, executive director for pro-GMO group Center for Science in the Public Interest, says many manufacturers see labeling as a risky move. “The term GMO has become a toxic term and so if a company figures they will lose maybe two percent of their sales, why should they?”
Jacobson has a point. A 2006 study for the Pew Initiative for Food and Biotechnology found that only 23 percent of women, who are the primary decision makers in food shopping, thought genetically modified foods were safe. However, only 26 percent of American consumers believed they had eaten GMO products.
There are 14 states that have currently filed legislation on GMO labeling, but most of it has not moved out of committed. So far, only Alaska has passed a biotech seafood labeling law.
Source: LA Times