What’s on Your Plate?

What’s on Your Plate?

By Eleanor Bravo, Food and Water Watch

Santa Fe Passes GMO Labeling! Now its Albuquerque’s Turn

What’s on your plate? Because there are no laws requiring genetically modified organisms (GMOs) be labeled, we don’t know. Right now we have an opportunity in Albuquerque to support labeling in the State of New Mexico.  A resolution was introduced into the City Council just for this purpose.

What exactly is genetically modified food? GE crops are engineered by transferring genetic material from one organism into another to create specific traits, such as making a plant resistant to treatment with herbicides, or enabling a plant to produce its own pesticide to repel insects.  Chemical companies such as Monsanto sell these modified seed as well as the accompanying herbicide Roundup. They also make false claim to a greater crop yield.

Over 50 countries already require labeling. In order to ensure that US citizens can make informed decisions regarding what they eat, the US must do the same. Long term effects of GMO’s on our health and environment are unknown. Yet they exist all over the world. Not only in many food products but livestock bred for human consumption are fed GMO feed.  There is no way to tell if we are eating GMO or something that has been fed GMO. Limited studies on the health risks have shown increased and abnormal tumor growth in rats. Humans are not lab rats; yet we are participating in a large scale science experiment without knowing.

Agribusinesses would like you to think that the cost of labeling will drive up the cost of food.  Labels tell the number of calories, amount of sugar, carbohydrates and other ingredients without raising the cost of food.  Labels are altered on a regular basis without impacting grocery costs.

Santa Fe City Council unanimously passed a GMO labeling resolution. Now the largest city in New Mexico has the opportunity to do the same. On Feb 19, City Councilor Isaac Benton (Dist. 2) introduced a resolution which supports the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. The full Albuquerque City Council is expected to vote on it in early April.

If you want to know what’s on your plate and what you are feeding your families, contact your city councilor to tell them to vote YES on this resolution. Find your city council district by visiting http://www.cabq.gov/council/council-district-map and type your address.

Our work for labeling of genetically modified organisms has just begun. In 2013 the New Mexico Senate voted down a bill that would have required labeling in the State. With resolutions that call for labeling in the 2 largest cities in NM and numerous other communities, we will continue calling for mandatory statewide labeling. For more information about GMO labeling visit www.foodandwaterwatch.org. To get more involved in passing this resolution, contact Lars at Food and Water Watch at 505-750-4919 or send an email to lpanaro@fwwlocal.org