Since Earthbound Farm began as a small farm in 1984, we've been committed to organic farming as a way to bring the benefits of organic food to as many people as possible and serve as a catalyst for positive change. We feel strongly that consumers have the right to know how their food is grown and what it contains, so they can make informed decisions about the foods they purchase and consume. We also believe that it’s imperative to understand the potential impacts of new technologies before their use becomes widespread.
Genetic modification is a modern technology that involves transferring genes across species to alter or control specific traits in ways that could not happen naturally or through traditional plant-breeding techniques. In the US, many conventionally grown foods are now genetically modified; this means that those plants and animals have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that aren't theirs naturally. These techniques use pieces of DNA from different sources, sometimes different species, and combine them to create a new set of genes (for example, inserting flounder genes into tomatoes to make the tomatoes resistant to cold temperatures).
At Earthbound Farm we believe that genetically modified food has not yet been proven safe, and that it presents the possibility of long-term risks to the environment and to humans — yet there is no legislation that requires the labeling of genetically modified foods.
We believe that this lack of labeling denies consumers their basic right to know what is in their food. Currently, consumers’ only assurance that their food has not been genetically modified is buying food that is grown and processed organically. For this reason, we support the continued prohibition of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in organic foods.
Because we believe that agriculture should sustain the health of both people and the environment, we support legislation to require both labeling and extensive testing of GMOs. We also view GMOs as a probable threat to the integrity of organic agriculture, primarily due to the potential for cross-pollination from conventional farms using GMOs and contamination of seed supplies with genetically modified products. In addition, widespread cultivation of some genetically modified crops could disrupt some of the natural checks and balances that organic agriculture relies on to control pests and disease. Only if we protect organic food production, and require that all foods be accurately labeled, will consumers be able to have confidence in the purity of the foods they buy.
If you want to express your opinion, there are two actions under way calling for the labeling of GMO foods. You can learn more and take action at:
- JustLabelIt.org is a coalition of groups supporting a petition, written by the Center for Food Safety, calling on the FDA to require labeling of GMO foods.
- LabelGMOs.org supports state-level ballot initiatives to require the labeling of GMOs.
Here are some sources of additional information on GMOs in the food supply: