Should the government tell us what's in our food?

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  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 5:39 p.m.

    airnaut - Rice can be grown from GM seeds, although corn cannot.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    May 15, 2014 5:22 p.m.

    Pretty, cool and eye catching packages. I don't think I'd buy any thing once I saw how much I get after I opened something.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 15, 2014 3:51 p.m.

    Pasedena, CA

    So then --
    Answe the original question RedShirt,
    and stay on topic...

    If GMO foods are so good, and safe, and wonderful --
    why do their manufacturers insist in staying "secret", hidden, undisclosed -- i.e., secret combinations?

    WIf there is no problems at all,
    Why NOT allow them to be labeled and disclosed to the public?

    If something like that really and truely WAS so superior a product,
    don't you think people would want to know that as well?

    Who's side of TRUTH and Righteousnes are you going to take?

    Like GWBush sold you all on his "Patriot Act",
    If you are doing nothing wrong, and have absolutely nothing to hide,
    what do you have to be worried about?

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 15, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    Before you all go off on the "evils" of GMO crops, you should look to see some of the benefits of GMOs.

    Thanks to GMOs diabetics are able to get insulin for a low cost.

    There are many other medications that are derived from GMOs.

    There are many people that would be considered to be a GMO because they have undergond gene therapy to correct genetic diseases that they were born with.

    GMOs are in cotton, and result in cheaper cotton.

    GMOs are also being used to produce synthetic oil and other chemicals.

    Some GMOs are just fine and have no effect on anybody, and some are beneficial. What we need is a better understanding of what the GMO does when eaten and any differences in how it is digested and processed.

  • One of a Few Layton, UT
    May 15, 2014 1:05 p.m.

    Monsanto, et al. are afraid that if government requires or allows labeling, consumers will choose not to buy GMO food. They don't want to combat that possible choice with education and pricing. In effect, corporations are battling to take away consumer choices. Who does that sound like?

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    May 15, 2014 6:52 a.m.

    My #1 issue with GMO foods...

    Only the manufacturere can produce them.
    meaning --

    Farmers can not just raise seeds and grow them year after year --
    As God made them, and intended --

    "...and all manner of vegetation, each bearing seed in itself after its own kind..."

    80% of our entire food supply depends on only 3-4 companies.

    The ultimate extortion weapon.
    Do this - or else.

    Not only that --
    But these huge corporations are so huge, they also simply sue and win against smaller farmers who raise "normal" seed bearing crops in fields next to their GMO foods, because they might cross-pollunate and make "normal" crops.

    From my religous, moral and ethical stand point --
    This is so, SO wrong and on so many levels....

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 10:04 p.m.

    Yes, in microeconomic theory an "ideal" market assumes free and abundant information.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 14, 2014 9:00 p.m.

    Adam Smith said the key necessary ingredient to a free market is the free flow of accurate information (i.e., market transparency). Whether or not GMO’s are safe is beside the point – people have a right to know all relevant information in the marketplace and make up their own minds.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    May 14, 2014 7:53 p.m.

    I can only hope that the vitamins I take and yest I drink aren't genitally engineered.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 14, 2014 6:43 p.m.

    OK, let's look at it another way. One close to our local hearts. No, the government should not tell us what's in our food. That job would fall on the FDA, which many of us would like to see eliminated as a wasteful, business inhibiting bureaucracy. Besides, the job isn't enumerated in the constitution, is it? Surely industry will voluntarily tell us what we need to know. Or, it could be up to the states. Surely any state would recognise the declaration of a product declared GMO in any other state, wouldn't they? Corn from Iowa recognised as GMO by California would also be so in Iowa, correct? Or would a vote and states' rights be allowed to prevail, depriving Iowans of their rights, in this case the right to know?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 14, 2014 6:33 p.m.

    "Comments about ‘Should the government tell us what's in our food?"

    Absolutely. I personally have no problem with Genetically Modified food.

    But a lot of people do. That means less demand.

    The result could be lower prices for perfectly good GMO food. And that makes it better for the consumer.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 14, 2014 5:51 p.m.

    @Steve Cottrell;

    A hybrid is made by taking two varieties and cross-pollinating them. Each seed gets genetic material from both parents. This is natural and the genes in the hybrid are natural.

    GMO takes a gene from another organism and places it in the modified one. A gene that didn't exist in the GMO in the first place, or was perhaps inactive in the GMO.

    Cross pollination or hybridization is not the same thing.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 14, 2014 5:33 p.m.

    GMO's, flouride in the water, we've lived with and benefited from this stuff for years. With no harm. It's only the rise of internet empowered conspiracy mongers that is a problem. Fear itself.

  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    May 14, 2014 5:24 p.m.

    Is there any scientific evidence that GMO foods are actual unhealthy? I've never heard of any.

    (No, I am not a Monsanto apologist. I've found that if you question the conventional wisdom that 'GMO equals poison' that you tend to get accused to being a Monsanto stooge.)

  • Mr. D SLC, UT
    May 14, 2014 4:49 p.m.

    "GM crops... produce more on less land with fewer pesticide applications, less water and reduced on-farm fuel use." That's a nice claim, though I have yet to see a study that proves it. I HAVE seen studies that say that at best GM crops do as well as conventional ones.

    Regarding Golden Rice. Yes, they have added Vitamin A, and that's really cool. However, to get your daily recommended allowance, you'd have to eat 30+ bowls of rice a day. The reason it was never distributed is because it doesn't really work, not (just) because of opposition.

    @2 Bits:
    It's interesting that in order to test GM crops, you have to get permission from the GM patent holders. How do you think that affects the outcome? It is also interesting that the Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the FDA is a former Monsanto lawyer. So were many others (do a search for [monsanto revolving door]). Do you think their former careers may influence their current decisions? Is it possible that people in the government don't always do the right thing?

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    May 14, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    I don't understand why the food industry fights labeling they way they do. So what if Vermont or Utah or indeed the entire country ask the food be labelled as GMO or not. They already have disclosures on the label including RDA's. What seems to be the problem?

    Not only is there issue to labeling, but it might actually get folks to pay more for a box of cornflakes. I can chose if I want to pay $2.89 for a regular box or $3.89 with non-GMO ingredients. It is my money after all.

    There seems to be some other issue involved beyond the printed label. Just exactly what and why this is even controversial might make someone a bit suspicious. However, I would leave that to the "Fox" crowd, who are so much more skilled in that endeavor.

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    May 14, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    Just a question: Is a hybrid produce a GMO product? Most of the corn I grow and most of the tomatoes I grow are hybrids. Just wondering if they are examples of GMO products.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 14, 2014 4:04 p.m.

    Yes, of course I want foods to be labeled!

    That's why the FDA has required those little black boxed labels put on boxes for years and years now.

    The only people having issue with NOT identifying GMO foods,
    are....[drum roll]
    ...the GMO food Manufacturer/CORPORATIONS! [ka-ching!]

    And remember folks --
    You ARE what you eat.

  • Dr. G Bountiful, UT
    May 14, 2014 3:47 p.m.

    Another problem with genetic modification has to do with the fact that GM plants and animals are created using horizontal gene transfer (as opposed to vertical gene transfer that occurs in nature) injecting a gene from one species into a completely different species. Proponents of GM assume they can apply the principles of vertical inheritance to horizontal inheritance, but this assumption is terrible flawed.

    Evidence dating from the early 1990s indicates that ingested DNA in human food and animal feed can survive the digestive tract, and pass through the intestinal wall to enter the bloodstream. The digestive tract is a hotspot for horizontal gene transfer between bacteria and other microorganisms.

    Human beings are even more susceptible to horizontal gene transfer than bacteria, because unlike bacteria, which require sequence similarity for incorporation into the genome, higher organisms do not.

    GM DNA can lead to cancer, or activate dormant viruses that cause diseases. GM DNA often contains antibiotic resistance genes that can spread to pathogenic bacteria and make infections untreatable. Horizontal transfer of GM DNA is a main route for creating new viruses & bacteria that cause diseases."

  • Dr. G Bountiful, UT
    May 14, 2014 2:35 p.m.

    Instead of linear causal chains leading from DNA to RNA to protein and downstream biological functions, complex feed-forward and feed-back cycles interconnect organism and environment at all levels to mark and change RNA and DNA down the generations … Organisms work by intercommunication at every level, and not by control.

    … In order to survive, the organism needs to engage in natural genetic modification in real time, an exquisitely precise molecular dance of life in which RNA and DNA respond to, and participate fully in ‘downstream’ biological functions.

    That is why organisms and ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to the crude, artificial GM RNA and DNA created by human genetic engineers. It is also why genetic modification can probably never be safe. More importantly, the human organism shapes its own development and evolutionary future; that is why we must take responsible action to ban all environmental releases of GMOs now."

  • Dr. G Bountiful, UT
    May 14, 2014 2:33 p.m.

    According to Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, genetic modification interferes fundamentally with the natural genetic modifications that organisms undergo in order to survive. Under natural circumstances, this is done in real time as “an exquisitely precise molecular dance of life.”

    Genetic engineering, which assumes that one protein determines one particular trait, such as herbicide tolerance or insect resistance, and can easily be swapped out with another, with no other effects, is dangerously simplistic or, as Dr. Mae-Wan Ho says, “an illusion.”

    An organism’s genome is not static but fluid, and its biological functions are interconnected with its environment and vice versa, such that trying to control genetic changes via artificial modification is a dangerous game. Dr. Ho explained:

    “The rationale and impetus for genetic engineering and genetic modification is the ‘central dogma’ of molecular biology that assumes DNA (deoxyribose nucleic acid) carries all the instructions for making an organism.

    Individual ‘genetic messages’ in DNA are copied into RNA then translated into a protein determining a particular trait, such as herbicide tolerance, or insect resistance; one gene, one character. If it were really as simple as that, genetic modification would work perfectly. Unfortunately this simplistic picture is an illusion.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 14, 2014 2:31 p.m.

    So... is the government supposed to put a label on each ear of corn... so I know which field this ear came from... it's DNA background... any genetic tweaking done on it's family line... etc? That's ridiculous.

    Corn is corn. If it's not (and it's unsafe)... it shouldn't even be on the shelves!


    If somethings not safe for consumption... don't allow it on the shelves (that IS the Government's job). But if it's on the shelf... I shouldn't have to worry about it or do a DNA profile on it before I eat it.

    If GMO is unsafe... then the government should not be allowing it on the shelves, at all, period.

    GMO is safe, just freaks some conspiracy people out.

    Quoted from Wikipedia...
    "There is broad scientific consensus that food on the market derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food"...

    If you want special food... either grow it yourself (so you know for sure)... or go to a specialty store. If there isn't a special store.. open one yourself that promises no GMO food.

  • Dr. G Bountiful, UT
    May 14, 2014 2:31 p.m.

    Monsanto and other biotech companies claim genetically modified (GM) crops have no impact on the environment and are perfectly safe to eat.

    Federal departments in charge of food safety in the US and Canada have not conducted tests to affirm this alleged “safety,” but rather have taken the industry-conducted research at face value, allowing millions of acres of GM crops to overtake farmland.

    These foods, largely in the form of GM corn and soy (although there are other GM crops, too, like sugar beets, papaya and crookneck squash), can now be found in the majority of processed foods in the US.

    In other words, if you eat processed foods, you’re already eating them… and these crops are already being freely planted in the environment. But what if it turns out that Monsanto was wrong, and the GM crops aren’t actually safe…

    This is precisely what a number of scientists have been warning of for years, and the latest to sound the alarm is Dr. Mae-Wan Ho of the Institute for Science in Society, who has concluded that, by their very nature, there is no way GMOs (genetically modified organisms) can be safe.

  • JimInSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    @ 2 bits: The problem is that you cannot tell a GMO food by its outward appearance. That fresh ear of corm that you buy, husk, and cook yourself is most likely GMO.

    The primary reason for genetically tinkering with plant foods is to control patent rights on the seeds so that the patent holder can sell seeds and sue any farmers for which the GM crop is found if they had not purchased through authorized sources.

    Farmers have been sued for having found GM plants in their fields, which seed had not been planted but had blown in from passing trucks, or adjacent fields.

    Round-up ready crops, genetically modified to withstand round-up weed killer is responsible for more round-up weed killer in the food supply. As weeds become more tolerant of the chemical, more and more is sprayed.

    The Word of Wisdom was given because of the evil and designs of conspiring men in the last days. I think the Lord had Monsanto in mind.

    So short answer, Yes: people need to know what is in the food and allowed to decide for themselves if it is something that they want to put into their bodies.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 14, 2014 1:35 p.m.

    If you can't even tell what's in your food... for heck sake... why would you want to EAT it!?

    I only eat foods that are obvious what's in it. If it's a mystery... don't eat it!

    Don't buy mystery meals (that come in a box and you don't know what it is). Buy the real thing and make it yourself (so you KNOW what's in it).