Gweneth Paltrow Is Standing Up To The Federal Government In A GMO Foodfight
Gwyneth Paltrow wants Congress to put a label on it—genetically modified food, that is.
Paltrow, one of several celebrity supporters of the “Just Label It!” campaign, which is being mounted by a group of organic food companies working to defeat the bill in the Senate, voiced her concerns over buying genetically modified food without prior knowledge.
“Much the way I want to know if my food is farm-raised or wild or if my orange juice is fresh or from concentrate, I also believe I have the right, and we as Americans all have the right, to know what’s in our food,” she said at an event marking the delivery of a petition with 200,000 signatures asking President Obama to veto the bill.
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While Paltrow is known for her dedication to healthy living and eating—she launched the lifestyle and healthy eating newsletter Goop and has written several cookbooks—she said that her concerns are rooted in being a parent.
“I’m not here as an expert. I’m here as a mother, an American mother, that honestly believes I have the right to know what’s in the food I feed my family,” the actor said.
Under the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, the Food and Drug Administration would be responsible for regulating distribution and labeling of genetically modified foods, which would be done on a voluntary basis. If passed, the bill would supersede a law requiring GMO labeling that was approved by the state of Vermont in May 2014; it was set to go into effect in July 2016. While the FDA could mandate labeling foods with alterations of nutritional properties, allergens, or other characteristics, the administration would be prohibited from requiring the labeling of GMO food products.
“We would just love this information. We think it’s important as consumers and as mothers,” Paltrow added.
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Proponents for the Safe and Affordable Food Labeling Act argue that GMO labeling would come with negative financial effects, including higher food costs. A study by Cornell University professor William Lesser found that if states such as New York passed laws requiring GMO food labeling, a four-person family would pay up to $500 more a year. However, an independent study conducted by Kai Robinson, a consultant for “Just Label It!,” found that food product prices vary according to demand and not necessarily their ingredients.
Another factor influencing the fight for GMO labels is the fear that health risks are associated with GMO food products. But that hasn’t allayed public concerns: Despite more than 90 percent of U.S. corn and soy being genetically engineered, a recent Pew survey found that just 37 percent of the public thinks such foods are safe to eat.
Currently, 64 countries around the world require labeling of genetically modified foods. Unlike most other developed countries – such as 28 nations in the European Union, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia and even China – the U.S. has no laws requiring labeling of genetically modified foods.
The fight is not just about the fact that crops are genetically altered. It has more to do with the fact that crops are altered to be able to handle spraying lots of pesticides. Altered crops are doused with 6 times as much pesticide as unaltered crops to produce their result, whereby those pesticides and the genetic mutations are being blamed for a host of primarily American illnesses to include cancers, tumors, and autism.
If the U.S. government does not wish to support the labeling of modified crops, it needs to initiate a campaign to study, clarify truths, and to dispel falsehoods, and it has done neither. This apparent negligence has lead to the worldwide mistrust of genetically modified foods.