When I worked at the Vanderbilt Laser Sight Center in the 1990s we were told not to use the word “surgery” but to explain to patients that they would be having a “procedure.” The word choice supposedly diminished the seriousness of the activity and people, eager for clear vision without glasses or contact lenses, lined up. (Me too. I was first in line in fact.)
So, now a days surveys have indicated that over 96% of the American public approve of labeling on food packages to inform consumers about GMO content. The fight to label in California lost 49% to 51% and the loss last November in Washington was even narrower. This November the people of Oregon will have a chance to vote on a referendum for labeling.
You can vote in favor for labeling even if you personally do not think GMOs are of concern. There are many people who believe there is no reason to worry. Even so, most agree a label should be able to be provided so others, who are concerned, can have information to make choices for their own eating.
The industry fighting the labeling are those that believe labeling will raise a concern where none should exist. They believe that many people who really don’t know much about food being genetically modified for the past 20 years might think something is wrong. And not buy their food. And they will lose profits.
They use arguments like “it will cost to change the packaging and that cost will result in higher food costs to the consumer” which is bogus, since they change packaging all the time. They want to scare you about something that is meaningless so you don’t get scared by something important. That is keeping your right to know for you.
So we now have leadership joining in. The concept of choosing the words came up June 25 at a BIO international convention in San Diego. “….How do you create a different vocabulary to talk about GMOs……” Hillary Clinton mentioned in her talk and then suggested that explaining the technology would help plants improve drought resistance would convince more people that it was a great improvement over nature.
Yes, it can resist drought better. It also does not get affected when sprayed with heavy doses of weed killer. It also kills insects that bite into the plant. The technology works but sometimes not to the success hoped for. That is not the issue.
One issue is we are tired of people with power trying to dupe us. The issue is that we, many of the people who have eaten genetically engineered foods, are uncomfortable with the potential effects that are unproven. We don’t want to be a science experiment any more. We want to know through labeling. We are intelligent enough to understand the issue and we want to be able to chose.
I wonder what Hillary chooses to eat.