So, yesterday, I put out a heck of a food fight in Albany. I met with senators, assembly-persons and their aides to discuss labeling foods that have been genetically-engineered. Maybe you don’t know why you should care? Maybe you never thought about it one way or the other? After my first visit to Nicaragua, I became aware of the significant environmental impact on pesticides and our food system. After seeing 6,000 banana workers protesting for, literally, 6 years, even protesting with their dead bodies the dangers of pesticides on bananas and the cancers they were creating, I got saddened. Those feelings were compounded when I saw the sugar cane workers protesting next to them. Why? Because when the banana workers abandoned their fields, the sugar cane farmers took over the land and became sick with every kind of cancer, too!
How does this pertain to genetically-engineered (GE) foods? Because it is taking more and more pesticides used on our foods to deal with the super-weeds genetically-engineered food is creating! In addition, the pesticides that are being used on genetically-engineered foods, and our other foods are getting more toxic. In Nicaragua, Nemegon was used on the food supply, which is molecularly similar to the Agent Orange, used in the Vietnam Conflict. There is now talk that similar pesticides such as 2,4-D (also a component of Agent Orange) will be used on genetically-engineered foods here in the USA!
Genetically-engineered foods, or GMOs, are making farmers use up-to 15x more pesticides to deal with super weeds. It is now being discovered there are serious health risks to consumers who eat GMOs. The average person eats 150 pounds of GE/GMO foods every year!!! In this country, our food labels do not reveal GMO food ingredients. I believe that everyone has the right to know this information. This information is just as important as knowing the foods’ country of origin or kosher status.
All of this is to say, I spent my day lobbying Albany yesterday. If you would like to learn more about GMOs, here is a great little article for you. And please, I encourage you to sign petitions and write letters stating that you believe you have the right to know what is in your food, and what you are feeding your children. http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/03/opinion/schubert-gmo-labeling/index.html
While in Albany, the Rochester Bee Keeper’s Association also spoke up about Colony Collapse Disorder, as it relates to bees but also the killing off of the Monarch butterflies, which are also pollinators. Increases in insecticide use are rapidly killing off the bee population. Over sixty-percent of all of our foods are pollinated by bees. Their representative, Will Demuth informed us that, in China, due to the killing off of pollinating bees, people are hand pollinating fruit trees and other plants. (https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/5193).
It’s clear to me that Once Again Nut Butter is doing important work in going through the Non GMO verification process and taking a stand on proper labeling of foods. Sign the petition for New York’s labeling of GMO’s http://syracusegreens.nationbuilder.com/gmo_label_nys#_=_
By Gael Orr, Communications Manager