My favorite time of the year is coming around again—Thanksgiving. Not only do I get to spend time with the family and watch some football, I get to eat my favorite food. Some of my earliest memories include eating Thanksgiving food…the delicious turkey, steamed asparagus, mashed potatoes and gravy, and my Grandmother’s infamous Jell-O made with sparkling grape juice and whole grapes. Though years have passed, I appreciate the traditions that remain, especially since my life as a college student is constantly evolving.
However, something has recently been popping up in the news and will now be making a known appearance on my table. This guest has been served as food since I was a young child. But until recently, I never knew their presence really mattered… or does it? The special guest:
GMO’s, otherwise known as genetically modified organisms.
While some consumers are worried about their food containing GMO’s, I personally am not. A complicated science, I can see why society is uneasy about biotechnology—it is hard to understand. However, the portrayal from the media has blown concerns out of proportion. GMO’s have even been coined the nickname “Frankenfood” — an inaccurate name for consumers to hear. Recently, Proposition 37 was voted on by the California citizens. This initiative proposed on the ballot and if passed, labeling of GMO products would have been mandatory on products sold in the state. The initiative did not pass, but leaves people feeling distrust with the food industry and the FDA. For more information on this, check out California Fails to Pass Genetically Modified Foods Labeling Initiative.
The intent of food companies who use and create GM food and the US government is not to feed their people potentially harmful food, but to improve performance of food safely. According to GMO Food Debate In The National Spotlight, the FDA “recognizes the desirability of establishing consensus within the industry, the scientific community, and the public on the agency’s scientific assessment approach to food safety presented in this guidance section. For this reason, FDA plans to announce, in a future Federal Register notice, a workshop to discuss specific scientific issues.”
I think this is a good step to take rather than slapping a label that could potentially cause a panic and distrust amongst consumers. A label, mind you, that does not include food bought at restaurants or fast food joints and excludes meat and poultry. There is a better solution than to cause further distrust and panic. The FDA has the consumer’s interest at heart, as do the companies who use and create GM foods. It will be interesting to see what materializes in the years to come, but until then, I will enjoy my Thanksgiving dinners just the same—GMO’s or not.