Around 200 people, some wearing blindfolds and vegetable costumes, attended “What’s on Our Plates?” last week, a community forum in northeast Albuquerque.
Organizers say the purpose of the meeting was to inform the public about genetically-engineered (GE) foods and push the city for legislation that would require companies to label genetically-engineered foods.
Yong Jung Cho, field organizer for Food & Water Watch, said the forum is just one of many of an ongoing campaign to make labeling of GE food mandatory by law.
“There are no long-term studies proving that genetically engineered foods are safe for human consumption or for the environment and yet the Federal Drug Administration still doesn’t require labeling. However at the heart of the issue is consumers deserve the right to know what we are eating and what we are feeding our families.”
Genetically engineered crops are created by transferring genetic material from one organism into another to create specific traits, such as resistance to treatment with herbicides… or to make a plant produce its own pesticides to repel insects.
Some of the most common genetically-engineered foods are corn, alfalfa, cotton and soybeans. In 1992, the FDA approved Calgene’s Flavr Savr™ tomatoes making it the first genetically modified food to be sold in U.S. stores.
Earlier this year the New Mexico State Senate voted down a bill that if passed would have made it mandatory for companies to label of genetically-engineered food throughout the state.
However, the city of Santa Fe passed a resolution about two weeks ago making it mandatory to label foods that contain genetically-engineered food products.