Friday, October 31, 2014

A Growing Concern over GMO labeling

I have a growing fear, growing as I see a trend arising. A fear of a repeat from days gone by, a cycle that seems to repeat at least in my lifetime. The cycle of 2 steps forward and one back. I have watched this cycle repeated over and over in all disciplines and walks of life, across a variety of aspects of life. 

The cycle is simple. There are two sides to an issue. Side A wants to change things. Side B wants to remain the same.  Let's call "the same" level 0.   Side A forces some little change, taking the issue to level 1. Side B objects but accepts, since it is just a small thing.  Side A then waits a bit, and forces a deeper change to level 2. Side B rises up, reacts and pushes back, to level 1. Side B celebrates the win and returns to life.  Side A waits, then forces another small change to level 2. This time it is only a small change from 1 to 2, so side B objects but accepts.  More waiting.  then side A makes another move to level 3.  Side B rises up, rejects the move and pushes back to level 2 again.. heartily celebrating the victory. 

Starting to see a  pattern here?  Who is winning? Side A who is slowly moving the bar one level at a time, or side B who is busy living and working on their own lives, and enjoying celebrating huge wins every so often. Side B celebrations are hollow. They are loosing the war but celebrating the battles they win along the way as if they were ultimately winning. But they are loosing.

What is my point?

Last night, walking through the isles of Natural Grocer here in Medford, A sinking feeling sets in. The isles are filled with packages sporting "non-GMO" labels here and there. It feels good. People are waking up! But wait.... wait a minute... where is the organic labels? There are only a few organic labels visible. 

But I feel good about buying non-gmo!

Do you?  Do we remember only a short time ago when non-gmo meant POISON ?  Non-GMO without organic is what has been sold everywhere for a generation, the other word for it is "conventional"  meaning "raised with poisons and artificial petroleum based fertilizer in barren soils". 

Non-GMO labels without organic are meaningless.  All it means is that the food therein is ONLY poisonous and devoid of nutrients, its not also genetically modified.  In other words, NON-GMO without ORGANIC only means slowly deadly to humans. 

NON-GMO labels with organic labels are almost meaningless.  TO be certified organic, no gmo ingredients can be used.  Sure, its not tested, but the only way a gmo ingredient can be inside a organic product is by cheating or accident. the non-gmo label adds little to the quality assurance of the product. 

So I have a fear. With all the push for GMO labeling, we are going to be successful at taking a step back, after 2 or 3 steps forward.  NON-GMO as a separate classification from organic will create a new class of food in the public's mind. a safe class of food, since it's not gmo. BUT ITS NOT ORGANIC, ITS POISON! we tend to forget that in our battle, because we are focused on winning the battle against GMOs.  But is that truly winning?

If people are going to eat poison (conventional)  then they are going to eat GMO. 

If people are not going to eat organic,  and aare scared off of the gmo product because of the label, then they will eat conventional (poison) 

If people are only going to eat organic, they are not going to even see the non-gmo labels, they are looking for organic only. 

Where is the win? The end result to winning gmo labeling battle is a loss of the conventional vs organic battle. people are going to be justified in purchasing conventional instead of organic, "at least its not gmo".  In other words... they took two steps forward, we took one step back and are going to celebrate?  people are going to suffer and die from non-organic foods. period.  What are we celebrating again?

I say, (at the end of another long post, my apologies) to forget the non-gmo battle. instead lets focus on taking back the ground we have lost over the last 30 years.. the organic vs conventional debate.  If we win that, GMOs are gone forever in the process AND people actually get healthier. Lives are saved, the environment is saved. 

Lets not celebrate a hollow victory.  Lets play their game.. attacking behind their front lines. not the battle they want us to fight. Lets fight the real battle. 

1 comment:

  1. For the Record, we are in FAVOR of gmo labeling. Primarily for the reason of limiting the market of GMO foods which is the only way to effectively remove the threat of GMO spread. Take the profitability out of it, destroy the market, and it goes away silently. BUT GMO labeling , in my mind, does not help the public, it hurts the public, for the reasons stated above.