As election day approaches, hot topic food issues are being brought to people’s attention more than ever. This week, labeling seemed to be a particularly hot topic. After the results of a cancer study on Monsanto weedkiller came out this week, it got everyone talking about G.M.Os (genetically modified organisms). But labeling issues do not stop at G.M.Os, so I focus this week’s post on label related news stories to keep the conversation going.
In the aforementioned cancer study, published in the science journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, a group of UK scientists looked at the long-term effects on a bestselling weedkiller used worldwide. Results showed that most of the rats exposed to the any amount of weedkiller were quickly developing tumors, liver and kidney damage, and dying prematurely.
I seem to have a new article from Mark Bittman almost every week. I will work on bringing some more diversity soon, but when it comes to an article about labeling G.M.Os, this one’s a winner. In the article, Bittman discusses Prop 37, a potential new law in the state of California for processed and genetically modified foods to be labeled. Rather than taking a side for or against genetic modification, Bittman argues the proposition is more about a right to know.
Bringing a similar point of view to Prop 37, Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics, mentions the cancer study results, arguing that the science of the study is complicated but our needs are simple: to know what it is we are consuming.
Beyond the G.M.O label controversy this week in food news was talk of the “organic” label, as settlement on the Aurora dairy case, filed in 2007, was decided. Back in 2007, a complaint was filed stating that one of the largest producers of organic milk and butter, Aurora Organic Dairy, was claiming the organic label while their cows were being confined in feedlots similar to industrial farms, an act entirely against organic regulation requirements. However, rather than being punished or removed of their organic label, the company was allowed to keep their organic certification after agreeing to reduce their herd size from nearly 2,200 to 1,200 and to make proper changes to its farm plan. Now, after years of litigation, a settlement has been reached for Aurora to pay 7.5 million dollars for false marketing claims.Although, as a company they are maintaining that they have done no wrongdoing and this is merely a financial decision based on frivolous claims.
Article on the original case filing: http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/organic-watchdog-group-takes-on-aurora-organic-dairy-usda.html
Article on 7.5 million settlement: http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_21494501/boulders-aurora-organic-dairy-settles-class-action-suit
After all of this label talk, are you wondering what exactly certain labels on your food mean? If so, here is a video breaking down labels into simplified explanations.
Enjoy your first official fall weekend!