There is steady chatter about labeling GMOS. Quite frankly I do not believe that it is going away anytime soon.

Chatter is one thing, but chatter about something that is not understood is another.

Right now there is the reality that food items will be labeled with a national QR code where if a consumer really wants to know more about the product they can scan it. This would be a national standard with a uniform symbol and unified information- not a patchwork. If there has to be a label, I can live with this, but it still sends my head spinning!

Spinning? Really? Is that really how I feel about this? Not happy! Why? Not for reasons you may think. I have no concerns over crops that are genetically modified being used, therefore I feel a label is unnecessary. I feel the general consumer has developed fear of the unknown and not taken to understand the process and is reacting to a marketing ploy.

Now before you scream, “what?” Or”this lady is crazy”, let me explain.

Labels of this nature signal that there is a safety concern. The longevity of research and approval by not only the USDA, FDA, and the EPA clearly states that there are no safety concerns. The process used in breeding plants, and thus seeds, is complex and time consuming, but simply boils down to replicating a process of resistance or tolerance that occurs naturally out in the environment, the Eco-system, over long periods of time. Several companies use this technology, it is not just one.

There is more research and approval given to the seeds I have available to choose from, then many of the medicines, dietary supplements, and vitamins you have in your cupboards, can purchase on the shelves, or get with a prescription. Just look at the labels and see which ones say “approval by FDA or USDA pending” or “statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration [FDA]”. Yet, we buy them without flinching. Why? Because someone told us they would do something for us, solve an ailment, or maybe even make us skinny!

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As a farmer, I am thankful for the availability of technology used and the research that goes into each seed we choose to use. Are we forced to plant a genetically modified seed-NO! Do we choose to plant them- YES, when it is the right decision. If a particular seed will allow me to reduce tillage and potentially pesticide and herbicide it is worth my consideration. If I can care for the soil by preserving its organic matter and reducing compaction, genetically modified seeds are worth my consideration.

So, I ask, why label something that has not risks, that isn’t a “thing” but a process. If we label this, then do we need to label all breeding techniques? Identifying genetic traits and breeding plants, thus seeds, is science, it’s nature, and it is something that advancement in technology and precision makes possible in a controlled setting, reducing variables and drastically cutting down on time- decades to be exact. We demand genetic identification of traits for disease, deformities, and cures for ailments; yet want to deny it when it comes to development in sustainability, preserving resources, and fiscal responsibility.

So, why label? Is it needed? Do we really even understand all “those” cute little designs, codes, etc? Do we really even know how to read or use the codes and pictures already on the package?

I do believe that a label for GMO’s is a waste and used for marketing, companies gaining a profit by protruding fear to the millions who have not idea what it means but that it must be bad because a product says “it doesn’t contain”, even if it never had a chance of it having it in the first place.

To label or not that is up to you- you have a right to your own opinion,  but will it really make a difference? Will you take time to understand what it means?

I encourage you to take minute to do a little more research:

Read an article by Mark Lynas, a former non- supporter of GMOs: http://www.marklynas.org/2016/07/time-compromise-gmo-labelling/

Watch a short video “What is a GMO?”

And visit the website below: 

https://gmoanswers.com/

or if all else fails ASK A FARMER or find a farmer at :  http://www.askthefarmers.com/