Do You Know GMO?

Dear First Lady Obama,


            As concerned citizens, we are writing to express appreciation for your recognition of the important relationships between our food, health, and environment. The organic garden and organic food at the White House demonstrate your leadership on these timely issues. We also are writing to enlist your support in cultivating healthy food for all Americans; protecting our farmers; placing a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically-modified produce until their safety can be proven; and labeling foods containing genetically-modified (GM) ingredients.

           

According to one estimate, GM foods are present in approximately 80% of packaged food products in America[i] - and as you know, many Americans increasingly rely on packaged products for the majority of their meals.  The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has called for an immediate moratorium on GMO foods because doctors believe they %u201Cpose a serious health risk.%u201D[ii] GM products also cross-pollinate with neighboring crops, unintentionally modifying much of our food system and deeply impacting farmers. Unlike pharmaceuticals, GM crops cannot simply be removed from the system %u2013 the continued cultivation of GM crops is altering beyond viability the very foundation of our health and society: our food.


Unfortunately, American consumers and farmers continue to be denied the simple, inalienable right to choose what we produce and what we eat %u2013 because labeling of GM foods is not currently required. In fact, in the United States, foods may legally contain up to 10% GMO material and still be considered organic (in the EU, it is 0.9%). In three distinct federal cases, U.S. courts ruled that the USDA, specifically the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (%u201CAPHIS%u201D), violated the National Environmental Policy Act by not providing an Environmental Impact Study on the impact to an ecosystem or farmers due to cross contamination. [iii] [iv] The USDA has admitted that they do not have a policy or screening measure to identify, or weed out, a shipment of unapproved GMOs unknown to the regulatory system.[v]


            As consumers we bear responsibility for making wise, informed choices %u2013 but when denied this ability, we must rely on our government to protect our health safety, our food supply, and our environment.  Is the Obama Administration willing to commit that GM foods pose no threat to the health of our children over a lifetime of consumption?

           

With this in mind, we request that you encourage and support efforts to:


1.      Provide protection to Americans by requiring that all GM seeds, produce, and food products must be labeled clearly as containing GM organisms, with the amount of each contaminant on the nutritional label.

2.      Place an immediate moratorium on all GM crops.

3.      Require rigorous, independent safety testing requirements before any GMO is allowed into the food supply.

4.      Require peer-to-peer reviewed clinical studies on the human health effects of GM foods.

5.      Develop a policy to manage future GMO crops (including imports and exports).

6.      Conduct environmental impact studies to evaluate the potential irreversible harm caused via GMs to organic and conventional varieties of crops, seeds, and the ecosystem.

7.      Make public the results of the analyses above.

8.      Develop systems to hold accountable the manufacturers/producers of GE crops for associated cross contamination and negative health effects.

9.      Provide protection to farmers from unwanted contamination and litigation by manufacturers of GM seeds.


Like you, we love our families and hope to provide them with nutritious meals that do not damage their health or our environment. Please urgently support efforts to provide affordable, natural foods for ALL families, wherever they may live.


Sincerely,



Citizens for a GMO FREE WORLD



[i] "About GMOs Frequently Asked Questions." NON GMO Project. July 2009. NON GMO Project Organization.   22 July 2009 <http://www.nongmoproject.org/concumers/about-gmos>.


[ii] Engdahl, F. William. "US Doctors%u2019 association calls for Moratorium on GMO Foods." Financial Sense Editorials. 21 May 2009. Financial Sense. 22 July 2009 <http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/engdahl/2009/0521.html>.


[iii] "Case Style: Geerston Seed Farms, et al. v. Mike Johanns, et al." More Law Lexapedia. 28 June 2009. More Law Lexipedia. 22 July 2009  <http://www.morelaw.com/verdicts/case.asp?n=07-16492&s=ca&d=40491>.


[iv] Cummins, Joe, Prof., and Mae-Wan Ho, Dr. "Approval of GM Crops Illegal, US Federal Courts Rule." ISIS REPORT. 3 Jan. 2007. Institute of Science in Society. 22 July 2009 <http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Approval_of_GM_Crops_Illegal.php>.


[v] Melvin, Jasmin. "USDA unable to weed out unapproved modified foods." Reuters [Washington D.C.] 14 Jan. 2009. 22 July 2009 <http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSTRE50D5ZD20090114>.

The White House


1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.


Washington, DC 20500



Dear First Lady Obama,



            As concerned citizens, we are writing to express appreciation for your recognition of the important relationships between our food, health, and environment. The organic garden and organic food at the White House demonstrate your leadership on these timely issues. We also are writing to enlist your support in cultivating healthy food for all Americans; protecting our farmers; placing a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically-modified produce until their safety can be proven; and labeling foods containing genetically-modified (GM) ingredients.


           


According to one estimate, GM foods are present in approximately 80% of packaged food products in America[i] - and as you know, many Americans increasingly rely on packaged products for the majority of their meals.  The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has called for an immediate moratorium on GMO foods because doctors believe they %u201Cpose a serious health risk.%u201D[ii] GM products also cross-pollinate with neighboring crops, unintentionally modifying much of our food system and deeply impacting farmers. Unlike pharmaceuticals, GM crops cannot simply be removed from the system %u2013 the continued cultivation of GM crops is altering beyond viability the very foundation of our health and society: our food.



Unfortunately, American consumers and farmers continue to be denied the simple, inalienable right to choose what we produce and what we eat %u2013 because labeling of GM foods is not currently required. In fact, in the United States, foods may legally contain up to 10% GMO material and still be considered organic (in the EU, it is 0.9%). In three distinct federal cases, U.S. courts ruled that the USDA, specifically the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (%u201CAPHIS%u201D), violated the National Environmental Policy Act by not providing an Environmental Impact Study on the impact to an ecosystem or farmers due to cross contamination. [iii] [iv] The USDA has admitted that they do not have a policy or screening measure to identify, or weed out, a shipment of unapproved GMOs unknown to the regulatory system.[v]



            As consumers we bear responsibility for making wise, informed choices %u2013 but when denied this ability, we must rely on our government to protect our health safety, our food supply, and our environment.  Is the Obama Administration willing to commit that GM foods pose no threat to the health of our children over a lifetime of consumption?


           


With this in mind, we request that you encourage and support efforts to:



1.      Provide protection to Americans by requiring that all GM seeds, produce, and food products must be labeled clearly as containing GM organisms, with the amount of each contaminant on the nutritional label.


2.      Place an immediate moratorium on all GM crops.


3.      Require rigorous, independent safety testing requirements before any GMO is allowed into the food supply.


4.      Require peer-to-peer reviewed clinical studies on the human health effects of GM foods.


5.      Develop a policy to manage future GMO crops (including imports and exports).


6.      Conduct environmental impact studies to evaluate the potential irreversible harm caused via GMs to organic and conventional varieties of crops, seeds, and the ecosystem.


7.      Make public the results of the analyses above.


8.      Develop systems to hold accountable the manufacturers/producers of GE crops for associated cross contamination and negative health effects.


9.      Provide protection to farmers from unwanted contamination and litigation by manufacturers of GM seeds.



Like you, we love our families and hope to provide them with nutritious meals that do not damage their health or our environment. Please urgently support efforts to provide affordable, natural foods for ALL families, wherever they may live.



Sincerely,




Citizens for a GMO FREE WORLD




[i] "About GMOs Frequently Asked Questions." NON GMO Project. July 2009. NON GMO Project Organization.   22 July 2009 <http://www.nongmoproject.org/concumers/about-gmos>.



[ii] Engdahl, F. William. "US Doctors%u2019 association calls for Moratorium on GMO Foods." Financial Sense Editorials. 21 May 2009. Financial Sense. 22 July 2009 <http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/engdahl/2009/0521.html>.



[iii] "Case Style: Geerston Seed Farms, et al. v. Mike Johanns, et al." More Law Lexapedia. 28 June 2009. More Law Lexipedia. 22 July 2009  <http://www.morelaw.com/verdicts/case.asp?n=07-16492&s=ca&d=40491>.



[iv] Cummins, Joe, Prof., and Mae-Wan Ho, Dr. "Approval of GM Crops Illegal, US Federal Courts Rule." ISIS REPORT. 3 Jan. 2007. Institute of Science in Society. 22 July 2009 <http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Approval_of_GM_Crops_Illegal.php>.



[v] Melvin, Jasmin. "USDA unable to weed out unapproved modified foods." Reuters [Washington D.C.] 14 Jan. 2009. 22 July 2009 <http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSTRE50D5ZD20090114>.

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