In recent years, several polls have shown that about 90 percent of Americans support the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms. That's about as close to a consensus as you're going to get in this country. But amazingly, in this supposed bastion of freedom and democracy, we're still denied the fundamental right of transparency with regard to what's in our food. It's a right that more than 50 other nations, including China and Russia, protect with mandatory GMO labeling.
It's ironic that China and Russia, those big scary authoritarian countries known for communism, corruption and rampant human rights violations, are more responsive to citizen concerns about what they put in their bodies.
The glaring disconnect between America's democratic ideals and the FDA's refusal to budge on GMO labeling may be about to crumble, says Andrew Kimbrell of the Center For Food Safety. His organization is part of a broad coalition of groups petitioning the FDA for mandatory labels on foods that contain GMOs. Hundreds of other organizations have joined the effort, representing consumer advocates, farmers, concerned parents, businesses, environmentalists and members of health-care and faith-based communities. The goal of the coalition, called Just Label It, is to collect enough signatures that the FDA acts on it. Or enough signatures to compel President Obama to force the FDA to do so.
There are three reasons Kimbrell believes that now, despite decades of undue biotech influence on FDA policy, the agency's GMO armor is cracking.