1. This list has nothing to do with JLaw. It's mostly me organizing my thoughts on something important to me.
    Lo ciento.
  2. First, a history lesson.
  3. Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs, are biotechnology products that are enhanced in some way to "benefit mankind," and have been used in the US (and for world) since the early 80s.
  4. GMOs appeared in the food industry as a kind of cheat code to lengthen the self life of produce.
    GMOs gave the world the Flavr Savr tomato, which ripened more slowly. The Flavr Savr was the first GM "enhanced" food approved by the FDA. It came to grocery store shelves in 1994.
  5. Once GMOs were FDA-approved, they spread like yellow fever: produce companies around the world raced to figure out the best way to grow crops faster and cheaper.
  6. The dark side of this is that, both before and after the FDA approval, there were scientists continuing to research the effects GMOs could have on the humans who consumed them. Their findings have suggested that GMOs can be detrimental to health.
    I'm not going to go into extemporaneous detail here, because I'm not a scientist and would therefore probably mess something up, not to mention that it hasn't been given enough time to produce Conclusive Proof. However, I will include this anecdote that could have come from a John Grisham novel:
  7. Dr. Arpad Pustazai, a respected scientist who worked at the Rowett Institute (a huge food research facility in Britain) made a statement on British television, announcing that GMOs are harmful to the human body and "not at all substantially equivalent to non-GM food."
    He also spoke about the fact that the testing procedures weren't lengthy or thorough enough to determine the truth about the risks.
  8. LESS THAN A WEEK LATER, Dr. Pustazai was *suspended* and *legally gagged* by the very research facility which employed him. The biotech industry worked hard to make Dr. Pustazai appear as a senile mad scientist who shouldn't be taken seriously, and essentially wrecked his career in order to continue making money. (Naturally.)
  9. A little ways down the road, however, guess what 24 other scientists learned? Dr. Pustazai was CORRECT:
    "When the doctor fed rats GM potatoes, within just 10 days, the animals developed potentially pre-cancerous cell growth, smaller brains, livers, and testicles, partially atrophied livers, and damaged immune systems. What’s more, the cause was most certainly side effects from the process of genetic engineering itself. In other words, the GM foods sold in grocery stores, which are created from the very same process, likely have similar effects on humans, according to Pustazai’s research."
  10. Giphy
  11. This brings us to our present time. In the world, SIXTY-FOUR (¡64!) nations require GMO labeling.
    I will happily make a list if anyone wants to read it, but I am also willing to simply say that there are nations everyone knows (like China, Greece, and Romania) and yet the United States is not on the list. Even sadder to me is the fact that our absence has apparently convinced Canada—a nation that is overall much more health conscious than we are—they don't need to label GMOs either. (This could also possibly be due to their close proximity to us? And our huge ego?) We're a bad influence!
  12. But but but! There is finally a US state that has passed a law requiring companies to label foods containing GMOs.
  13. The deadline for all foods containing GMOs go have GMO labels is July 1, 2016, which means a plethora of companies are currently having to redesign packaging for their products to meet the deadline.
  14. This is Really Big News: several Really Big companies don't want to spend Really Big money on two separate packaging designs, one *with* GMO labels and one *without* them.
  15. Which means that all over the nation we're going to start seeing clear and direct labeling telling consumers when a product contains GMOs!
  16. Hope you feel educated!
    This is something my mom and I have been "personally victimized by" and frustrated about for a couple of years now, so it's a pretty big deal to us. Thanks for reading. ✌️