Something rather ironic is happening. Just as some US food retailers are beginning to pledge to carry non-GMO foods, grocery chains in the UK are telling their customers that they can no longer insure that chicken feed is free of GMOs. According to Supply Management, The UK grocery store chain Tesco has recently made this announcement. See article.
Europe, in general, has rejected GMO crops since 1998 but there are signs that the EU is beginning to relax its stance on this as new trade treaty negotiations between the US and the EU seek to end GMO crop restrictions throughout Europe. All the while in the US consumers are just waking up to GMOs and a strong anti-GMO movement is finding its voice. Another irony. How will it all shake out?
We do tend to lag behind Europe in fashion, culture and probably much else. I remember being in Tübingen, Germany in 1988 and seeing firsthand a comprehensive recycling program that equally baffled, intimidated and fascinated me. I barely knew what recycling meant in 1988. My friend and hostess scolded me if I tried to throw a coffee filter away. Every piece of garbage had its place and there was a lot of explaining to do if I filled up her garbage pail, which was the size of a can of Folgers, more than once per week. It was my first experience with a smelly, compost bowl. Today, I fill up a smelly, compost bowl daily.
So if Europe is a harbinger of our GMO future, even if the anti-GMO movement takes hold in the US, could it all be for naught because a decade from now everything will swing back to GMO anyway?
How much power do consumers really have over this? Sure, we can boycott products, lobby for labeling laws and vote with our pocketbook, but how realistic is that in the long run? And what do economically disadvantage folks do, the ones who can’t afford organic food? Are they going to care if food is GMO or not if labeling laws are passed?
I’m asking more questions than I’m answering. I just checked out a book from the library called Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food by Pamela C. Ronald. It was recommended to me by another blogger. Kind of weird to see the words organic and genetics in the same title. Maybe it will provide me the answers I seek. I would especially welcome comments from anyone who has read this book. ~JuleeK@Sleuth4Health