We Americans tend to think of poison as immediate. I remember seeing BT Collins, Director of the California Conservation Corps, drinking a beaker of malathion in the 1980s to demonstrate his belief that it was safe. Sure enough, he didn’t double up and fall over.
The fact is that many carcinogens and other toxins work their damage slowly, over decades or even entire generations. So when Monsanto flaks declare Roundup “safe,” I don’t believe them, and also doubt their pronouncement that their genetically modified food ingredients are safe. Since we don’t—and can’t yet—know the long term effects of these products, they should at least be labeled so we can make an informed choice.
A move to label, California’s Proposition 37, was defeated in the last election, thanks to the megabucks Monsanto and its corporate accomplices pumped into TV ads. The bad news is that the electorate’s easily hypnotized. The good news is that we have access to something more powerful: the marketplace.
A. C. Gallo, president of Whole Foods, recently announced that the huge chain will require labeling of all genetically modified foods sold in its stores.
This policy, he said, came in response to consumer demand. “We’ve seen how our customers have responded to the products we do have labeled. Some of our manufacturers say they’ve seen a fifteen percent increase in sales of products they have labeled.”
In other words, we may not need to seek legal recourse if we simply shop intelligently by limiting our purchases to foods labeled “No GM ingredients.”