www.triplepundit.com - August 13th, 2012
It really has all the elements of an old-time action thriller: the forces of good and evil, the unsuspecting victim, the damsel in distress tied to the railroad tracks while the locomotive chugs mindlessly towards its destination, and, of course, the dastardly villain causing trouble behind the scenes. I’m talking of course, of the longstanding battle raging over genetically modified foods, which seems to be heading towards some kind of climax.
On the one hand, you have the California ballot initiative that would require all foods containing GMOs to be labeled, the way it is in most of the rest of the world. The way that the industry is fighting this, you would think that the state wants to ban these foods entirely. But all the “right to know” initiative is asking, as its name suggests, is for people to be aware of what they are buying so that they can make an informed choice.
The biotech industry has long held the position that ‘if they knew what was in it, they wouldn’t eat it,’ (which is probably true of a lot of the foods being sold today) to which their response has been, ‘let’s make sure they don’t find out.’
Meanwhile, Wal-Mart has agreed to begin selling Monsanto’s genetically modified sweet corn in their stores all across the country. Wal-Mart is America’s largest grocery store, with more than 15% share in 75 major markets. This will be the first time GM foods have been sold directly to consumers, rather than as ingredients in prepared food.
Food activist Michael Pollan has said that GM foods are not fundamentally evil, though they should be adequately labeled. The food may or may not be evil, but the way that some of its purveyors are behaving is another story altogether.