As Vermonters, we tend to take a special interest in our food. We want to know who grew it, what’s in it, and how far it traveled before it landed on our plate.
That’s why at VPIRG, we think it’s essential that consumers be informed if the food they are buying is the product of genetic engineering (also known as “genetically modified organisms” or GMOs). As part of the Vermont Right to Know GMOs campaign VPIRG is working with a coalition of consumer, public health, agricultural and environmental groups to require the labeling of genetically engineered foods sold in Vermont.
Food that has been genetically engineered has had its DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, in order to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature, and the health risks associated with eating this food are uncertain.
“This is a consumer right to know issue,” said VPIRG’s Falko Schilling. ‘Just as we require nutritional labels on food so that shoppers can make informed choices, consumers should have the same access to information if their food has been genetically altered.”
With genetically engineered foods taking up more and more shelf space at the local supermarket, it is increasingly important consumers have the ability to know exactly what they are putting in their bodies. Recent polls have shown approximately 90% of Americans support mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods, yet there are currently no labeling requirements for genetically engineered products. This bill will not only help protect Vermont’s consumers, but will lead the charge towards much needed change.
For more information about the campaign and how to get involved, visit www.vtrighttoknow.org.