There’s no one I know who makes a concerted effort to remain ignorant. And by ignorant, I mean “not knowing” or “unaware.” While people may “not care” about certain things, like what is in our food for example, it become a different story when people remain unaware because our government doesn’t regulate or publish what is in our food.

Genetically Modified Organisms, or G.M.O’s, are here to stay in our food supply–and yet, people who are concerned with their health attempt to avoid G.M.O’s in our food. H0wever, it is becoming more difficult to avoid eating G.M.O’s or eating animals that ate G.M.O’s–etc.

As reported in The New York Times on February 15th, “In the last three weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved three new kinds of genetically engineered (G.E.) foods: alfalfa (which becomes hay), a type of corn grown to produce ethanol), and  sugar beets. And the approval by the Food and Drug Administration of a super-fast-growing salmon — the first genetically modified animal to be sold in the U.S., but probably not the last — may not be far behind.” –Mark Bittman, food columnist for The Times, shares his thoughts about G.M.O’s in his recent editorial entitled, “Why Aren’t G.M.O Foods Labeled?”  It’s hard to consider the concept that G.M.O foods are becoming more prevalent and “accepted” in the United States of Agribusiness, to be sure–but what is even more disconcerting is that “the  F.D.A.and the U.S.D.A. will not require any of these products, or foods containing them, to be labeled as genetically engineered, because they don’t want to ‘suggest or imply’ that these foods are ‘different.'”

Hmmm.

As far as I can tell, creating a genetically-modified organism, for the express purpose of resisting pesticides, for example–is “different” than the simple crops that my father plants in his backyard garden. Dad has to deal with ground hogs, chipmunks, tomato blights–and he hasn’t ventured into his workshop to scientifically manufacture a seed to deter nature from being nature. Obviously, my father’s labor of love–his bountiful personal garden–cannot be compared to the overflowing G.M.O soybean field or the Frankensalmon (farm) that Bittman mentions in his editorial. Yet there is something fundamentally wrong with withholding information from a consumer.

I want to know what is in my food, and I want to know why the labels won’t keep up with what is being done scientifically to our food sources. And I’m not alone. Bittman reveals that 87% of Americans want G.M.O foods labeled accordingly.

What used to be simple–growing food, buying food–has become a convoluted permuation of avoidance and deceptive marketing. When will there be some clear and direct legislation to manage the vaguery of product labels? Why should I remain ignorant to whether the salmon I purchase is factory farmed or a G.M.O product?  If the labels don’t exist, I will be buying my food “blind.”

The Bittman article is informative, interesting, and disturbing. Take a read of it and while you do, I’ll get to learning how to create a container garden this spring/ summer, so as to avoid as much G.M.O “bounty” as I can.

Why Aren’t G.M.O. Foods Labeled? http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/15/why-arent-g-m-o-foods-labeled/

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