Right2know march demanding labels on GMO foods arrives at White House
On October 16, the Right2know march, which set out on foot from New York, arrived at the White House to demand that President Obama keep his campaign promise to require labels on all food products containing genetically-modified ingredients.
The demand of the march is mandatory labels on GMO foods, nothing more yet. That is because Obama once promised to do that and it is the easiest first stop to a European-style ban on GMO seeds and a ban on food/living organism patents. In short, the labels are all the marchers feel can be achieved right now, and hopefully once consumers see all the labels they will either demand a ban or the grocery stores will force GMO’s off the shelves fearing consumer rejection.
According to one speaker, the main reason Monsanto and the other GMO purveyors oppose labelling is fear that a medical database could be build based on doctors questions to patients about diet. Such a database could reveal a GMO to be unsafe-and if a disease ever correlated to a GMO ingredient huge lawsuits could be next. This is probably what one sign in the crowd calling GMOs “the next tobacco” meant-that GMO lawsuits would be the next round of tobacco lawsuits.
Not suprisingly, speakers identified Monsanto is still the main backer and purveyor of GMO seeds and GMO patent lawsuits, despite their bankruptcy and takeover a few years ago. One speaker emphasized that Monsanto, originally a chemical company, has taken over so many seed companies that they are now among the biggest seed companies, more so than a chemical company.
It was emphasized that any unsafe GMOs that escape to the environment will be impossible to recall. I find this unsettling in light of the fact that Monsanto’s safety record as a chemical firm includes the 1947 explosion of a shipload of ammonimum nitrate that levelled part of Texas City.
One of the speakers was the Canadian farmer who responded to Monsanto’s threats and lawsuits against farmers whose crops are contaminated with Monsanto’s patented genes with lawsuits of his own. At one point, he managed to drag Monsanto into court over a $647 damage claim, a humiliation for such a powerful multinational.