It is important to do everything possible to maintain health, reduce health-care costs, and keep the environment safe and healthy. To do that effectively, consumers need to know when they are buying food that contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Please ask your legislators to support LD 718, the bill to label GMO foods. This bill is a common-sense effort to provide consumers the information they need to make informed choices. We have a right to know. Here are some facts about GMO foods from Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, http://www.mofga.org/Programs/PublicPolicyInitiatives/RightToKnowGMOMaine/tabid/2540/Default.aspx:
· GMO crops have been engineered, not simply bred, to contain DNA from entirely different organisms so that the crops then have traits that could not be gained through traditional plant breeding. Many crops have been engineered with special bacteria or viral DNA to make them herbicide resistant or lethal to insects.
· Already 62 countries around the world label foods that contain GM ingredients, including all of Europe, Russia, China, India and South Africa.
· A recent poll conducted by MSNBC showed that 93% of consumers want to know if they are eating GM foods.
· Five main GM commodity crops - corn, soy, cotton, sugar beets and canola - have byproducts, such as high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, vegetable oil and canola oil, in an estimated 75% of processed foods sold in grocery stores.
· Commercial foods already are labeled extensively with nutritional information, country of origin and information about their production. It is time to add a label for GM contents.
Published in The Star Herald and The Bangor Daily News, March, 2013