Letter to the editor: Right to Know about Genetically Modified Foods

Did you know that 75-85% of the processed food you eat contains genetically modified ingredients. That’s right, 75-85%.

In 2011, 96% of canola, 80% of corn, 98% of soy, and 95% of cottonseed produced in the U.S. was grown with genetically modified seed. Consequently, thousands of products have genetically modified ingredients, including: cereals, breads, pastries, flours, cornmeal, cookies, crackers, chips, canola oil, cottonseed oil, tofu, tortillas, soy milk, mayonnaise, mustard, and soups. Even so-called natural foods often contain genetically modified ingredients.

Most U.S. consumers are unaware that so much of what they eat has been genetically modified. This is because federal regulators and congress have blocked repeated efforts at national labeling. So, there are no U.S. laws requiring food processors to label their genetically modified products.

To correct this oversight, several states are attempting to require food processors to label foods that have genetically modified ingredients. These bills and initiatives are consumer right to know efforts. More than 90% of U.S. consumers want to know if their food has been genetically modified. Some want to know because they are concerned about health issues, others are concerned for religious reasons, while others are concerned about the impacts it will have on neighboring farms. Whatever the concern, it is a consumer right to know issue.

Vermont is the first state that will vote on a genetic modification labeling law. That bill is currently in the legislature. If you are among the more than 90% who are concerned, call or write your legislator and senator today and tell them to support bill H.722, because you have the right to know what is in your food. Please try to get your town to support this bill at town meeting.

– Will Allen, Cedar Circle Farm, East Thetford

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