Saturday, October 16, 2010

Labeling is Disabling

The reason why none of our food is labeled as being imported from countries with inferior inspection regulations, or genetically modified, or doused with pesticides is because nobody would buy it. Food manufacturers and importers know and fear this. Profits from all the corporations involved would be in serious jeopardy—from store sales to stock value.

Everyone is in hot pursuit of cost-cutting measures, from the corporations all the way down to the working family, in tense competition for food dollars. In this pursuit, however, costs have been traded for convenience, and control has been lost.

The European Union has banned the import of most genetically modified foods because testing being done over there revealed horrific results in lab mice and the environment in general. Our country has yet to even TEST these crops with lab mice! Canada also bans the import of most food products from the U.S. because it cannot guarantee the safety or wholesomeness of the food source. Yet we continually march nonchalantly down the aisles of our grocery stores, loading can after box of Processed Poison Products into our carts, not even thinking about it. All we seem to care about is whether or not the stuff is on sale…and we wonder why the health care system is in such crisis around here!

On the flip-side of the labeling issue: the FDA has come out with regulations and standards concerning the use of organic labeling. The regulations say that a product cannot be labeled as organic if the product has been subject to the use of pesticides, soil enhancements, genetic modification, or water alterations. If a food carries the “certified organic” label from the FDA, you can bet it’s at least 70% organic for a starting point. However, several small farms and growers who have not been certified by the FDA for one reason or another leave their products in question—there are many non-FDA certification programs out there, and they may not have the same standards as the FDA. I would endeavor to visit the source of the food products, or at least look into them. I’d also look into whatever certification the product does carry, because it may be equal to or better than the FDA’s certification, or god forbid, worse.

Read labels. Ask questions. Know your suppliers and their products. Get informed and stay informed. Know what you’re buying, and know the potential risks.


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