September 20, 2010
The Raw Story
By Raw Story
Extra labeling only confuses the consumers – biotech spokesman says
That the Food and Drug Administration is opposed to labeling foods that are genetically modified is no surprise anymore, but a report in the Washington Post indicates the FDA won’t even allow food producers to label their foods as being free of genetic modification.
In reporting that the FDA will likely not require the labeling of genetically modified salmon if it approves the food product for consumption, the Post‘s Lyndsey Layton notes that the federal agency “won’t let conventional food makers trumpet the fact that their products don’t contain genetically modified ingredients.”
“This to me raises questions about whose interest the FDA is protecting,” House Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) told the Post. Kucinich has repeatedly introduced bills in the House that would require the labeling of genetically modified foods.
David Edwards, director of animal biotechnology at the Biotechnology Industry Organization, told the Post that “extra labeling only confuses the consumer. … It differentiates products that are not different. As we stick more labels on products that don’t really tell us anything more, it makes it harder for consumers to make their choices.”
The Post notes that the debate over genetically modified salmon, which will be decided at an FDA advisory panel meeting this week, “comes at a time when Americans seem to want to know more about their food – where it is grown, how it is produced and what it contains.”
“The public wants to know and the public has a right to know,” New York University nutrition professor Marion Nestle told the Post. “I think the agency has discretion, but it’s under enormous political pressure to approve [the salmon] without labeling.”
April 19, 2010
La Vida Locavore
By Jill Richardson
The Boston Globe just printed a whopper: “Genetically engineered crops are more environmentally friendly than organic ones.” This is the same lie we’ve been hearing from a long time, and it’s coming from more or less the same source. In this case, the source is Elliot Entis, a former board member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) – the biotech industry lobby group.
I know what this article says without reading it: organic yields less than conventional, GMO ag and therefore organic is worse for the earth. People who oppose GMOs and love organics are idealists who don’t know the first thing about growing food. We need GMOs to feed the earth. And that is exactly what the article DOES say. None of it becomes any less of a lie just because the Boston Globe was hoodwinked into printing it. Honestly, this is outrageous and newspapers should be held to a higher standard. We expect them to give us the hard facts, not dumb lies.
If you want to express your outrage on this, please write the Boston Globe a letter to the editor within the next week. Use the following points:
1. The Rodale Institute’s Farm Systems Trials show that organic yields as much or MORE than conventional, GMO ag for corn and soy.
2. For all crops, organic yields a little more than 90% as much as conventional in the U.S. but produces 80% MORE than conventional in the developing world.
3. Therefore, the entire argument made in the article is blown to bits because it was entirely based on that premise.
4. The Union of Concerned Scientists found that GMOs resulted in a net INCREASE of pesticide use overall. Also, the numbers given for Bt crops that boast a decrease of pesticides do not account for the pesticide produced by the plants themselves.
5. Bt is not as benign when produced by GM crops as it is when sprayed on by organic farmers. That is because when it is sprayed on as needed, it then breaks down in the environment quickly. When it is produced by every cell of every plant, it is always present. Thus, it puts us at risk of losing Bt as an effective organic management tool for pests because it will promote the evolution of Bt-resistant pests.