GMOs are probably the most controversial (and common) ingredient in the food you eat today. Chipotle has announced that it will stop putting GMOs in its food altogether one month after the World Health Organization characterized Monsanto’s choice herbicide, Roundup, as a “probable carcinogen.” At the same time, Monsanto and other scientists are insisting that GMOs are routinely tested and are not inherently harmful to our bodies or the environment. While the debate marches on, those who believe in labeling GMOs — just as we label calorie counts and allergens like peanuts — are saying “we have a right to know what’s in our food.”
On Tuesday, hundreds of pro-GMO labeling protestors packed the Capitol building in Albany to demand that the state lawmakers make a change in New York. The bill to label GMOs, which was recently passed in the Assembly’s Consumer Affairs & Protection Committee in March and is currently before the Assembly’s Codes Committee and Senate’s Consumer Protection Committee, is supported by multiple Congress representatives, including State Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan).
“New Yorkers care about where their food comes from and how it was made," said Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s. The Ben & Jerry’s company stance has been widely noted as being pro-GMO-labeling practices. "Food companies should be proud to talk about the ingredients that are in their food. It's simply a matter of transparency and a consumer's right to know. It’s good for people, and it’s good for business.”
According to the New York Public Interest Research Group, Monsanto, one of the largest producers of GMO crops nationwide, spent $3 million to lobby New York lawmakers. The United States is currently behind 64 other countries worldwide that have either entirely banned or labeled GMOs.