In addition to voting for president, this election season residents of California will be determining the fate of Proposition 37, which would mandate the labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients.
But is this right to know law rooted in science, or is it just another activist ploy intended to spread baseless fears about GE foods? It s quite obviously the latter, writes ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava in a new op-ed for the San Diego Union Tribune. As she points out, GE foods have been safely consumed by nearly every American for over 16 years. Furthermore, she observes, given the recent popularity of organic foods, many products already are labeled GE free.
Not only, then, does Proposition 37 pose no clear benefit, it has the potential to be quite damaging. Rather than take on the onerous task of sequestering GE and GE-free products for the California market, food producers and marketers may well just abandon GE methods entirely as has been the case over most of Europe, where superstitious fear of GE products is rampant, writes Dr. Kava. Thus, enactment of Prop. 37 would derail the vast potential for developing new GE agricultural products to boost crop yields and help fend off malnutrition, especially in the less-developed world.
Read Dr. Kava s op-ed in full, here.
And speaking of the organic vs. GE food debate, we d like to refer our readers to a recent New York Times op-ed by journalist Roger Cohen, who argues that organic is a slick marketing tool that may be very misleading. Cohen cites the World Health Organization s view on genetically modified food, which states that consumption of such products has not resulted in any adverse human health effects. In fact, the organic concept actually threatens to doom millions of people to starvation.
Read Cohen s Return of the Organic Fable, in full, here.