USDA proposes allowing gene editing in certified organic food
(NaturalHealth365) The next time you go to the store, compare the price tag on a piece of organic food compared to its non-organic option. You probably won’t be surprised to see that the organic food costs more. But, for many health-conscious consumers, the price is worth it to avoid GMO foods.
As you probably already know, if a food item is labeled “organic,” it’s illegal for it to contain any gene-edited (manipulated) ingredients – right? (Well, that might change faster than you think!)
Just last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began proceedings that could seriously call consumer confidence into question. Up for discussion at a recent congressional hearing: should we allow certified organic foods to be gene-edited?
The debate is on: Will GMO technology sneak its way into organic food?
On July 17, 2019, at a House Agriculture Subcommittee, Greg Ibach, USDA’s Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, shared his controversial views regarding organic food and GMO – which normally go together like oil and water.
You can listen to part of his speech here, or read below to see his statement:
“As the National Organic Standards Board set the rules originally – GMO or [transgenic organisms] are not eligible to be in the organic program. But we’ve seen new technology, that includes gene-editing, that accomplishes things in shorter periods of time than a natural breeding process.”
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Sure. Never mind the evidence which says GMO and gene-edited foods may be toxic to the liver, pancreas, kidneys, reproductive system, and immune system, to name just a few problems – as seen in a 2009 review of the literature published in the peer-reviewed journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
Let’s also not forget that the ubiquity and excessive use of herbicides and pesticides is accelerating the proliferation of superbugs and “superweeds” which are becoming resistant to even our most powerful chemicals.
If we were to follow Ibach’s logic, we should only be concerned about someone’s financial bottom line and whether we can grow food that will tolerate our planet’s volatile climate – all the while pretending that herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals involved in conventional agriculture aren’t accelerating the problem!
Ibach goes on to say: “I think there is the opportunity to open the discussion to consider whether it is appropriate for some of these new technologies that include gene-editing to be eligible to be used to enhance organic production and to have drought and disease-resistant varieties, as well as higher-yielding varieties available.”
Enhance organic production by ADDING genetic engineering to the process? You’re not the only one who thinks this unprecedented suggestion sounds whacky.
If even our organic foods are allowed to be genetically modified, then what?
As we’ve reported previously, surveys show that people notice significant improvements in their health by cutting back on or eliminating GMO-containing foods – notorious for being highly processed and filled with additional junk and fillers – and replacing it with organic food.
This leaves us with frustration, not to mention an important final question on our minds: if gene-editing will be allowed into organic food production, what exactly will we be paying for in the organic food aisle, anyway?
To make your voice heard against genetic engineering in organic food, consider signing this online petition from The Cornucopia Institute, and check back with NaturalHealth365 for the latest updates on this major food news.
Sources for this article include: