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A growing concern: Initiative #48 would require labels on genetically modified food

Non-GMO_section_Arroyo_main_image.jpg
From Whole Foods Newsroom
Think fracking will make a lot of noise at the ballot box on November 4 -- and on TV and computer screens before that? Of all the initiatives vying for a place on the ballot, Initiative #48 could be the most controversial -- and expensive, with opponents (think Monsanto) prepared to fight, and fight hard. And what's the focus of this hot-topic measure? Requiring that food which has been genetically engineered must be labeled as such. But that's just the condensed version.

See also: Colorado Supreme Court approves Colorado GMO labeling initiative

Here's the official wording for Initiative #48: Labeling Genetically Modified Food

Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning labeling of genetically modified food; and, in connection therewith, requiring food that has been genetically modified or treated with genetically modified material to be labeled, "Produced With Genetic Engineering" starting on July 1, 2016; exempting some foods including but not limited to food from animals that are not genetically modified but have been fed or injected with genetically modified food or drugs, certain food that is not packaged for retail sale and is intended for immediate human consumption, alcoholic beverages, food for animals, and medically prescribed food; requiring the Colorado department of public health and environment to regulate the labeling of genetically modified food; and specifying that no private right of action is created for failure to conform to the labeling requirements?

If Colorado voters pass Initiative 48, foods that are genetically modified would be required to include the words "Produced With Genetic Engineering" in a clear and conspicuous manner on their labeling. Existing food mislabeling penalties would be applied to any manufacturers, distributors or retailers that do not include GMO (genetically modified organisms) labeling on genetically engineered foods. Consumers would be prohibited from bringing legal action against manufacturers, distributors or retailers if they failed to comply with labeling requirements; the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment would oversee all labeling requirements.

Initiative 48 was created and sponsored by Right to Know Colorado, a grassroots campaign for GMO labeling and education. Steven Hoffman, director of funding and communications for the organization, says the proposal is all about giving control to communities to make informed food decisions.

Hoffman has been involved in several GMO labeling campaigns in the past. "The consumer ought to be able to decide," he says, adding that the GMO label won't cost the manufacturer any more money and will not raise the price of food.

Right to Know is currently collecting signatures to get the proposal on the ballot; petition gatherers often are located outside Whole Foods store locations, as well as Alfalfa's Market and Lucky's Market in Boulder.

The endgame of this national movement is a federal level-labeling law. "We are in support of mandatory federal labeling," Hoffman says "But the FDA refuses to move. As more and more states pass laws, they will be compelled to make one consistent labeling law."

The deadline for collecting signatures for citizen initiatives is August 4. Find information on all the current proposals on the Colorado Secretary of State website.


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43 comments
muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

As a good Liberal, I believe that the consumer should have choice.  Labeling food would facilitate informed choice.

If GMO "food" is so great, why do big food corporations like Monsanto try so hard to keep it secret?

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Responding to the substance of the post more directly, I favor fully informing consumers, but the impetus behind Initiative 48 is greed.  Consumers will not learn much by seeing "GMO" on a label, but Whole Foods and other retailers who profit off of irrational fear of the food supply will gain a major windfall, as countless scientifically-illiterate consumers will incorrectly assume that the food sold in most grocery stores is unsafe, and that they will have to double their food budgets in order to avoid them.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

The notion that GMO food is dangerous is insane!  Many conflate their distrust of Monsanto with unwarranted fear of GMOs.  To inveigh against the technology itself is pure Luddism.  As an example of a GMO that could be a boon to humanity, consider transgenic gold-of-pleasure (camelina sativa) -- this oilseed has been successfully modified to produce levels of EPA and DHA comparable to those in fish oil.  This has the potential to eliminate pressure on already-depleted fish stocks for these essential polyunsaturated fatty acids and improve human diets around the world.  See http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tpj.12378/full

useyourlogic
useyourlogic

@muhutdafuga Labeling SOME gmos and not others (as the various initiatives all propose; you can drive a huge sugar beet harvester through all the exemptions and loopholes for those foods that would not have to be labeled) doesn't accomplish anything.  Except to attempt to demonize the food for the process used in growing the food.  Genetic modification is a process, not a "thing" that a food contains.  It's a way of developing a seed for insect resistance or weed resistance.


And no, I don't work for Monsanto.  But I read.  And I use my brain.

BurnDownBabylon
BurnDownBabylon

@muhutdafuga 

Exactly.

Did you know it is ILLEGAL for farmers to keep their seeds from their harvest if they grow with Monsanto GMO seeds?

It's patent infringement.

Can you say police state?

useyourlogic
useyourlogic

@RobertChase Absolutely correct.  And the "Doesn't contain GMOs" you see on Whole Foods labels?  Those, too, are disingenuous; they may have a small amount of GMOs in them, and be certified organic by the USDA, because USDA certification permits up to 0.5% GMOs in certified organic food.  So, those labels too are misleading.

useyourlogic
useyourlogic

@RobertChase And GMOs are being developed to be drought-resistant, flood-resistant, and to contain increased Vitamin A to fight blindness.

useyourlogic
useyourlogic

@RobertChase Exactly!   Over 1700 studies have shown no harm with GMOs.  But the same people who look to science when they argue that climate change exists put their fingers in their ears and go "LA LA LA LA" when they hear about the science of GMOs -- because they Don't Want To Hear It.   Sad.

BurnDownBabylon
BurnDownBabylon

@RobertChase You must be white, so I'll take it easy on you.

          http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/agriculture/2014/06/22/superweeds-choke-farms/11231231/ 


There's a link to a MAJOR problem in Iowa caused by...yep...GMOs.

People argue "GMOs will save world hunger OMG!!!"

Seriously?

They why are people still hungry?

THERE IS NO FOOD SHORTAGE!!!


Guess what is a great source of omega-3s...

Come on, guess.

That's right HEMP SEEDS!

Look it up if you're white ass seriously thinks I'm lying.

Screw fish and GMOs.  Fish has mercury and GMOs are terrible for your health.

davebarnes
davebarnes topcommenter

The same idiots who believe that vaccines cause autism.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... many of those "insane" are the same undereducated, semi-literate stoners who believe marijuana cures everything from canker sores to cancer.



muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

@useyourlogic @muhutdafuga You mean the Monsanto that is claiming now to be a foreign corporation so they can cheat on their taxes, that Monsanto?

So because some GMO manufacturers cheat, they all should be able to keep the frankenfood content secret?

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@BurnDownBabylon  It is not criminal to plant seed from Monsanto's transgenic crops -- the company is asserting intellectual property rights in civil proceedings.

useyourlogic
useyourlogic

@BurnDownBabylon @RobertChase "you're white ass" -- ?   You were unfortunately absent the day they taught punctuation, and equally absent when yo mamma tried to teach you to not be a racist pig.  You get an "F" on both accounts.  

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@BurnDownBabylon  The article to which you link concerns the natural spread of Palmer Amaranth; it does not relate to GMOs -- try reading before posting!  You lump all GMOs together and think that weed control with herbicides implicates all of them, just as though you had no idea what genetic modifications have been fielded, or what they do.  You opine strongly about matters of which you have no understanding.

Hemp is rich in alpha-linolenic acid, but contains no DHA or EPA.  Before making quite so many erroneous assumptions, google "robert chase marijuana".

BurnDownBabylon
BurnDownBabylon

@DonkeyHotay @RobertChase 

Can't speak for canker sores, but cannabis DOES cure cancer.

Look up Run From the Cure.

It's a documentary.

I know you "insane", "undereducated" folk don't watch many documentaries, but this one might change your life.

Stop listening to everything your daddy government tells you.

America is little over 200 years old.

Cannabis has THOUSANDS of years of history behind it.

But I'm assuming you don't research anything for yourselves.

The news tells you everything you need to know, right?

There's no ulterior motives involving all the money behind the scenes.

useyourlogic
useyourlogic

@BurnDownBabylon @muhutdafuga No; it's illegal for ANY farmer (including organic farmers) to reuse patented hybrid seeds.  That includes hybrid organic seeds as well.


The reason most successful farmers don't even WANT to reuse seeds (if they aren't patented hybrid seeds) is they aren't as good from reharvesting as new seeds are; the crop yield is lower, and not worth the farmer's investment in time and money.

useyourlogic
useyourlogic

@DonkeyHotay @useyourlogic @RobertChase Yup; with the "biotech is baaad, organic [and now evidently marijuana] are good."    Did these guys study science at all?  Or have any intellectual curiosity at all?  Oh, then they wouldn't be luddites; I forgot.

BurnDownBabylon
BurnDownBabylon

@RobertChase Are you serious?


The article specifically states:
"Nearly 20 weeds in Iowa have developed resistance to herbicides that include glyphosate, a once-in-a-century chemical that Monsanto brought to the market in 1976 under the name Roundup. It killed a broad range of weeds."

Are you familiar with Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops?  They are GMOs, believe it or not.

The article also says:

" Increased herbicide use on the new engineered crops will speed up weed resistance, leaving no viable herbicide alternatives"

What exactly is the purpose of GMOs, if I don't seem to understand?  I've taken classes in biology that kind of laid it all out for me.

 

You are correct about Cannabis containing ALA.  But here's the thing (and I have another link to back up my claim), ALA can be used to MAKE DHA and EPA.  ALA is "the only one of the three that is essential".

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/coos/sites/default/files/FFE/documents/2_oct_omega_3s.pdf

Care to enlighten me some more with your sheep thinking?

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@BurnDownBabylon  Recent studies have confirmed both that no link exists between vaccination and autism and that the condition begins early in gestation.

useyourlogic
useyourlogic

@BurnDownBabylon @RobertChase The problem with resistance in Iowa is bad farming practices (they don't rotate crops the way we do), not GMOs.


The purpose of GMOs to date is to increase crop yields, reduce the amount and toxicity of pesticides used, prevent unnecessary tilling of the soil, and to make better use of agricultural water.  All of which has occurred.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@BurnDownBabylon  There is a problem with Palmer Amaranth in Iowa, but the article states "agronomists are working to determine whether it is herbicide resistant"; it is not even established that the plant has resistance to glyphosphate, so it is at least premature to blame the cultivation of Roundup-ready crops.  The purpose of genetically modifying organisms is to imbue them with valuable traits which cannot be introduced through breeding.  The first two genetic modifications fielded, glyphosphate resistance and expression of Bacillus thuringiensis endotoxin, may be criticized, and may be problematic, but they are not comparable, nor do they begin to compass the possibilities of genetic modification.  It is true that DHA and EPA are not essential (you caught a minute mistake), but they are beneficial and highly desirable.  The study to which I referred describes  a genetic modification likely to be of substantial economic and ecological benefit, but there are endless possibilities for improving upon Nature.  GMOs may make biofuels affordable, produce medicines, and improve the yield of many crops.  It is irrational to try to transfer the blame which rightly attaches to our failure to properly regulate corporate behavior onto all genetic modification.  You are exemplifying herd-mentality; not me.

BurnDownBabylon
BurnDownBabylon

@DonkeyHotay Have any links to support that claim?  Because I have sources to verify my claim.

Your claim sounds like complete bullshit.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@BurnDownBabylon ... you've got NOTHING to support your idiotic assertion that marijuana cures cancer ... because there isn't a single published peer-reviewed medical paper or study that makes such an absurd conclusion.


Not one.


Now keep spreading your stupid stoner lies.



BurnDownBabylon
BurnDownBabylon

@DonkeyHotay Yeah, keep attacking my claim without supporting yours.  It's obvious you have no idea how to debate.  You have yet to post one link to back you up.

Now keep spreading your stupid shill lies.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@BurnDownBabylon ... supporting the FACT that there are NO peer-reviewed published scientific papers or studies that conclude marijuana cures cancer?


LOL! 


Here's a list of ALL the published scientific papers that claim marijuana cures cancer:


.

.

.

.

.


So, now it's up to you, numbnuts, to post your supposed sources that verify your idiotic claim that marijuana cures cancer.


[ cue crickets chirping ]



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@useyourlogic @BurnDownBabylon 


You'd think that with "THOUSANDS of years of history" there'd be at least ONE (1) peer-reviewed published medical study that proves marijuana cures cancer.


To date, the nutters have more evidence Obama was born in Kenya than they do for marijuana curing cancer.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@muhutdafuga @DonkeyHotay @useyourlogic @BurnDownBabylon


One study demonstrated a doubling in lung cancer for male marijuana smokers who also used tobacco (i.e. for men who smoked the same amount, the risk of lung cancer was twice as high for men who also used marijuana.) 


Another study found that long-term use of marijuana increased the risk of lung cancer in young adults (55 and under), with the risk increasing in proportion to the amount of marijuana smoked.


Look at what we do know about marijuana:

  • Many of the carcinogens and co-carcinogens present in tobacco smoke are also present in smoke from marijuana. 

  • Marijuana smoking does cause inflammation and cell damage, and it has been associated with pre-cancerous changes in lung tissue.

  • Marijuana has been shown to cause immune system dysfunction, possibly predisposing individuals to cancer.

Bottom line: Though marijuana most likely pales in cancer risk when compared to cigarette smoking, it's better to play it safe. 


There are reasons in addition to lung cancer risk (and the fact that it is illegal in most states) to avoid marijuana. Marijuana likely increases the risk oftesticular cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, a type of brain tumor, and the risk of leukemia in the offspring of women who use it during pregnancy.

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