Opinion: Search for transparency in our food
The "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act" brings us transparency and consumer confidence in our food purchases. It also will render consumers here and abroad the most affordable food and improve the lives and environment for so many around the globe.
The “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” brings us transparency and consumer confidence in our food purchases.
It also will render consumers here and abroad the most affordable food and improve the lives and environment for so many around the globe.
I am a long time farmer, mother and volunteer with several food and agriculture organizations. It troubles me when I read and hear about the evils of genetically modified food ingredients. I know, and you should know, after 30-plus years of science and trillions of meals sold, genetically modified food ingredients, or GMOs, are safe, equal and sometimes greater in nutritional value than nonGMO food ingredients.
But you shouldn’t have to rely on taking this notion because I say it or another source tells you the opposite. As a consumer, you should be able to rely on your government to assure you that food ingredients are what they say they are.
What’s more, you shouldn’t have to rely on which state you’re in to know which food ingredients are in your food. That is why I support and strongly urge our national policymakers to act and provide consumers with a national GMO labeling system that we all can have confidence in.
Feeding the world
In my work with the Farmers Feed the World program, I have seen people in poorer countries have very little access to foods and the water is in short supply.
Genetically modified seeds allow these families to produce a more abundant crop for their families with less water.
Women are the primary farmers in these areas of the world, and in some cases, carry water in buckets for their family and their crops. Sometimes, this trek can be miles to the nearest water supply. Transportation is a large issue in these parts of the world. Healthy food is, too.
Farmers are very conscious about our conservation practices, and we take pride in caring for the land we own. Nonorganic and organic farmers both use crop protectants.
A patchwork of labeling mandates throughout the nation will negatively impact consumers, farmers and food producers alike. In response to these laws, farmers and food companies must create separate supply chains, warehousing and delivery mechanisms to individual states. This will lead to severely higher prices at the grocery store.
We need our senators to create a safe and accurate national labeling system for food ingredients that provides everyone from every state the same information.
Information that consumers here in the U.S. and abroad can have confidence in. I urge the U.S. Senate to act on what the House has already passed, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act now.
Editor’s note: Zurn is president of Minnesota Agri-Women.