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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Take Action to Label GMOs

Apr 01, 2014 09:13PM

The movement to label genetically engineered foods, also known as genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, is heating up in New Jersey because many Americans want to know if the food on their grocers’ shelves is genetically engineered. Although many U.S. consumers are unaware, genetically engineered corn and soybeans are the building blocks of the industrialized food supply; derivatives of these GMOs are in many foods we unknowingly eat each day.

The majority of Americans say they are in favor of mandatory labeling of GMO food products. The New Jersey state senate and general assembly are now considering Bill Senate-91 to label genetically engineered foods throughout the state. GMO food labeling will not become a reality without the leadership of New Jersey Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and General Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto. New Jersey residents that support mandatory labeling of GMO food products can have their voices heard by sending the text message “LABEL” to 69866.

Biotech companies often liken genetic engineering to traditional hybridization, a stock selection process used by generations of farmers. However, unlike traditional crossbreeding, genetic engineering techniques allow scientists to insert specific genes from any plant, animal or microorganism into the DNA of a different species—something that couldn’t occur in nature.

The long-term effects of eating genetically engineered foods are still largely unknown. However, independent, peer-reviewed research on biotech crops reveals troubling health implications.

For more information, contact Emily Reuman, organizer for the South Jersey meeting of Food & Water Watch at [email protected].

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