From an article on ATTN:
Legendary songwriter and activist Neil Young is never shy about his political views. You might recall the time Young sang this environmental anthem with Stephen Colbert or when he released an entire album called Living With War in 2006 to protest the Iraq War and Bush-era torture practices. His latest political opponent is coffee giant Starbucks, which he is boycotting over the issue of GMO labeling in their Vermont establishments.
GMO foods are those whose DNA has been changed or altered in anyway. Last spring, Vermont passed a law that requires all food products containing GMO’s to be labeled as such. A collection of food organizations and companies like Monsanto (which was voted #1 most evil company) filed a lawsuit against the state of Vermont, claiming the law is unconstitutional.
Neil Young accused Starbucks of “hiding behind” one of these organizations, called the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). Says Young on his website, “I used to line up [at Starbucks] and get my latte everyday, but yesterday was my last one.”
But just yesterday, Starbucks released an official statement saying “Starbucks is not a part of any lawsuit pertaining to GMO labeling, nor have we provided funding for any campaign.
Starbucks is not aligned with Monsanto to stop food labeling or block Vermont State Law.” Okay, storm over, perhaps Neil Young spoke out a bit prematurely. But what exactly is so sensitive and incendiary about this issue? Basically, the jury is still out on whether or not genetically modified food is intrinsically bad for humans.
Some critics argue that GMOs can lead to allergies in humans and can decrease antibiotic efficacy down the road. At the moment, however, there have been no long-term studies conducted on the safety of genetically engineered foods on humans. Neil deGrasse Tyson recently spoke out about GMOs sensationalists who fail to recognize that humans have been genetically engineering their food for ages through natural selection.
All issues aside, none of this has anything to do with the consumer’s right to know — Which brings us back to the issue of GMO labeling.
GMO labeling is required in most of the major Western European nations as well as China. Do they know something we don’t? Even Neil deGrasse Tyson (yes, the same one from earlier) has conceded that labeling is innocuous, “If you wanted labeling I suppose you could demand it, but then it should be for all such foods.”
But if there is no concrete evidence of GMO dangers, why are food companies like Monsanto afraid to label their GMO products? Until we have conclusive evidence on GMO safety, isn’t it only fair to let our consumers know what they are eating? Interestingly, President Obama once felt this way too. Watch the brief clip below:
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