By Susan Lutz
“Probably carcinogen.” That’s what the WHO (the World Health Organization) called glyphosate, chemicals often found in toxic pesticides used by Monsanto and Dow for GMO crops.
Sri Lanka’s newly elected president immediately banned glyphosate, recognizing it as the herbicide contributing to the tremendous surge in kidney disease in the country. Glyphosate adds a dangerous and deadly ingredient to the already harsh conditions many farmers face from too little water and scorching heat.
Enter the United States where Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo reintroduced (yes, it’s been around before) a bill blocking states from the ability to require labeling on GMOs.
The bill, dubbed The Dark Act: Deny Americans the Right to Know, #stopDARKact, is spun by supporters to look as though it is legislation supporting transparency, but according to a recent House Agriculture Committee on Biotech Labeling Laws with Just Label It chairman, Gary Hishberg, it’s an anti-labeling push to keep the consumer out of the labeling process. A proposed amendment, mandating GMO labeling is being backed by anti GMO groups.
When I pick up a food on the grocery shelf, I automatically look at what’s in it. It’s frustrating to find product after product with ingredients I can’t pronounce, have to look up on the Internet what they really are, and more often than I want, succumb to eating chemicals in mislabeled or poorly labeled products. One example is Nutella. My kids love it. Who doesn’t? When not required by law, the company rearranges the ingredients to make Nutella appear healthier.
When law requires correct labeling, it’s a different story. Labeled accurately, sugar becomes the first ingredient in Nutella. Then, you should find the MSG. Monosodium glutamate in Nutella? Look on the label. It’s not there. But vanillin, which could be called E612, is also MSG. Nutella was sued for false health claims, which resulted in a settlement payout of $3.05 million and the company dropping it’s claim that it was a healthy food.
The drama continues and the climax is not yet known, at least in the courts. But for those in the fields picking foods that end up on our tables, for families trying to eat foods without poisons, for the sake of our waters and our climate, not knowing the poisoning that happens to our planet, on any level, creates a villain darker than any comic book character imagined.