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Know what’s in your food

Editorial cartoon by Jacob Bogdanoff

Editorial cartoon by Jacob Bogdanoff

People are starting to become more cautious about what they eat. Counting calories, reading nutrition facts and choosing healthier alternatives over a McDouble cheeseburger: they are taking every step to ensure a healthy diet and know what exactly is in the food they consume.

The Department of Health makes sure that providers inform their customers about this information, except one detail: which food product contain genetically modified organisms.

This is why approving Proposition 37 will be a benefit for California consumers, where it will require labeling any raw or processed foods that contains any plants or animals that had their DNA genetically altered.

This will also prohibit labeling any food “organic” or “natural” that contains these unknown ingredients.

Several companies, such as Monsanto, use GMOs in the belief that it keeps food products safe from harsh environments and diseases.

Some practices include taking animal DNA and inserting it into a plant, making it a super food, even sometimes resistant to pesticides.

What part of this description even sounds natural or organic?

Despite facts about GMOs that Monsanto posts on its web site, this unnatural ingredient still remains a mystery to us. Well, they may know, but they do not want to tell consumers because of the consequences of using GMOs.

According to Raw Wisdom, there has been speculation that GMO may increase the risk of breast cancer. In 1996, Monsanto used a genetically modified recombinant bovine growth hormone, a hazardous alternate to growth hormones that helps cows produce more milk.

With this hormone, it performs the same function as GH but increases the existence of IGF-1 from 70 percent to 1,000 percent. According to Samuel Epstein of the University of Colorado, IGF-1 has been linked to having an unlucky consumer’s chance of getting breast cancer to four times the risk.

Situations like this makes people wonder why the surgeon general has not stepped in, demanding mandatory labeling. Despite citizens taking the initiative to safeguard their choices, there are some setbacks the opposition shows on the proposition that can be devastating.

The Whittier Daily News, along with 28 other California newspapers, mentions that this will put more of a burden on grocery stores, dealing with unnecessary enforcement and potential lawsuits. This proposition will have grocers be more of a watchdog but in regards to lawsuits: yes, that is a possibility.

However, most lawsuits will not be targeted on grocers but rather GMO companies such as Monsanto, since they are the sole creators of this substance while groceries are just the bridge between them and the consumer.

Next time a “No on Prop. 37” ad appears, look at the bottom section and know who is the major sponsor. Find out who spent approximately $7 million to make sure this proposition does not pass: Monsanto.

Another argument shown on NoProp37.com states labeling would be meaningless, having such a vague term — “This product contains Genetically Modified Organisms” — will confuse and frighten consumers.

Overall, it is a label, letting consumers know exactly what will go in their mouth. If GMOs are harmless, why does Monsanto not want us to know?

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  2. Students support GMO food labeling proposition
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